Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title CHEM366 - Practical Chemistry Project Year 3 - An introduction to research methods
Code CHEM366
Coordinator Dr H Zhang
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):



This module is a Year 3 mini research project with the aim of introducing MChem students to research methods in chemistry through research projects in research labs. In this module, students will be allocated to research groups to work on projects of synthetic (organic or inorganic), physical (catalysis, electrochemistry, surface science, modelling, nanoparticles), materials or interdisciplinary themes, according to their own interests and abilities, and therefore the specific aims will differ slightly according to topic.
The general aims of the module are:
• To give the student a taste of research in a research lab environment
• To develop of appropriate experimental technique for the topic undertaken
• To show the use of appropriate characterisation techniques
• To illustrate the use of the library and other information resources as research tools
• To gain initial experience of how to approach a research project
• To familiarise the student with the preparation of written reports
• To teach the skills necessary for the preparation and delivery of a short oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) By the end of the module, students should be able to: Give a reasoned written exposition of experimental work and achievements Make valid deductions from acquired data Be capable of giving comprehensible written and oral accounts of experimental work Demonstrate an understanding of shortcomings, experimental errors or weakness in data Show that they understand the wider social and/or technological relevance of their work

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module usually consists of mini research projects to be conducted in an appropriate research laboratory or in the designated teaching laboratory depending upon topics. However, for the academic year of 2020-21, due to the pandemic lockdown and restriction measures, all CHEM366 projects are remote and run for 9 weeks (weeks 1-9 of 2nd in the 2nd semester). It is expected that a student will spend approximately 120 hours in total on project work, in addition to approximately 30 hours for project preparation and completion of the written report and oral presentation.



Students are allocated to different research groups based on their project preference, ability, and the availability of the projects offered by academic staff. These projects are generally classified into organic, inorganic & materials, and physical projects. Modelling and data analysis projects may be included in all project areas. These projects are mini research projects, designed by academic supervisors. For the academic year of 2020-21, all CHEM366 projects are remote. All projects last for 9 weeks in the 2nd semester.
CHEM366 students have timetabled weekly project meetings with their project supervisors. Additional meetings can be arranged if required, by directly contacting their project supervisor.
Students are encouraged to be familiar with report write-up guideline and assessment forms and perform their projects & prepare for the assessments accordingly. The final reports/project book/recorded presentations are submitted via Canvas in week 11 in the 2nd semester.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours       120


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 24


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Oral presentation There is no re-submission opportunity. This assessment cannot be marked anonymously.  15 minutes    25       
Performance in the laboratory, assessed by the project supervisor based on discussions with student, evaluation of notebook, quality of data and samples, ability to work independently. There is no re      45       
Final written report Standard UoL penalties apply for late submission. There is no re-submission opportunity. This assessment is not marked anonymously.  25-50 A4 pages    30