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 Key Skills for Chemists 2
Code CHEM280
Coordinator Dr GR Darling
Chemistry
Darling@liverpool.ac.uk
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 5 FHEQ Whole Session 15

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

 

Aims

1. To further develop the quantitative skills of a student, through more advanced skills in the application of mathematics, physics and information technology applicable to the second year of an undergraduate degree in chemistry.
2. To introduce students to the use of Molecular Modelling in Chemistry
3. To further develop a student's general transferable skills in oral and written communication and team working.


Learning Outcomes

(LO1) The overarching learning outcome is that students will gain the necessary key skills to perform well in their chemistry degree programmes.

(LO2) Quantitative key skills: By the end of the module a successful student will have improved their ability to:
* perform basic calculus (integral and differential) as applied to kinetics, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics
* use partial differentiation in general problems and to categorise stationary points in functions of more than one variable
* apply algebraic manipulation in kinetics, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics
* apply the algebra of complex numbers in quantum mechanics problems
* use basic matrix vector algebra
* solve simple eigenvalue problems and compute determinants of small matrices

(LO3) Molecular Modelling skills: By the end of this module, a successful student will have gained:
* a qualitative understanding of ab initio, semi-empirical and empirical models, knowing which model is suitable for a particular type of problem.
* the ability to predict the ground state energy and structure of isolated molecules (not too complicated) and estimate equilibrium constants (ΔH = ΔE) for simple reactions
* the ability to rationalise some aspects of reactivity (charge density, frontier orbitals).
* some experience of modelling intermolecular forces and complexes.

(LO4) General Key Skills: by the end of this module, a successful student will have engaged in team-based activities and developed a range of new transferable and employability skills applicable to further study and wider employment.

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Numeracy

(S3) Teamwork

(S4) IT skills

(S5) Communication skills

(S6) Students will have further developed their chemistry-related cognitive abilities and skills as highlighted in the QAA Chemistry benchmark statement including (i) the ability to apply such knowledge and understanding to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems ; (ii) skills in the practical applications of theory using computer software and models; (iii) skills in communicating scientific material and arguments; (iv) information technology and data-processing skills, relating to chemical information and data.

(S7) Students will have generic skills developed in the context of chemistry that are of a general nature and applicable in many other contexts as highlighted in the QAA Chemistry benchmark statement including (i)communication skills (written and oral); (ii) problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information; (iii) numeracy and mathematical skills; (iv) information retrieval skills; (v) ICT skills; (vi) interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team-working; (viii) time management and organisational skills.


Teaching and Learning Strategies

Quantitative Key Skills
This part of the module will be taught in online lectures with problem sets to be completed at home with discussion board assistance. There will be four socially distanced tutorial sessions per semester where students will have the opportunity to discuss particular problems with a staff demonstrator.
Due to differing levels of ability and experience in mathematics, the class will be divided into two levels. 2 sets of worksheets, reaching up to different levels, will be produced. The maximum mark that can be achieved for each sheet will reflect the level as described below:
• Level 1, worksheet, maximum mark achievable 80 %.
• Level 2, worksheet, maximum mark achievable 100 %.
BSc students will be able to choose the most appropriate level.
MChem students will be generally expected to attain a higher minimum level of quantitative skills than BSc students. This is required to support MChem modules in Years 3 a nd 4 (particularly Physical Chemistry modules CHEM354, CHEM451, CHEM453 and CHEM464).

Molecular Modelling Key Skills
Lectures (4) will introduce the concepts practiced in 5 1-hour workshops with associated assignments.

General Key Skills
This section of the module will consist of two on-line 1-hour tutorials given by teaching staff in the Chemistry Department and Careers and Employability, with groups of approximately 7-8 students. This will be supplemented by two 1-hour lectures. These activities will be based on shortlisting and digital media activities. Semester 2 will consist of a team-based mini-project focussing on industry-linked activities. This will vary from year to year depending on the availability of industrial partners and their requirements, but activities aim to include assessment centre like activities and digital storytelling based activities. This will be supplemented by two 1 hour lectures (perhaps via electronic means) and a 2-hour on-line work shop.

This module will be aiming to follow on from the approach used in the Year One module CHEM180 Key Skills for Chemists 1, with similar teaching and learning strategies, but providing opportunities to develop the key skills of the students to a higher level.

Extensive use of Vital/Canvas, email and on-line information will be made, with students expected to use Vital to view announcements, obtain information, presentations and tutorial tasks and to submit assessments.
At the end of semester two, a lecture will prepare students for the transfer to Year 3.


Syllabus

 

Quantitative Key Skills
This section of the module will be the responsibility of Dr George Darling who will ensure that activities build on the quantitative skills developed in Year 1. These skills will include:
• Revision of re-arrangement algebra, basic functions, exponents and logarithms, the exponential function, trigonometric functions
• Revision of basic calculus, rules of differentiation – chain rule etc. - basic integration
• Calculus used in kinetics, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics
• Partial differentiation, maxima and minima in several dimensions, saddlepoints
• Complex numbers and their use in quantum mechanics
• Basic matrix-vector algebra
• Eigenvectors, eigenvalues, the matrix determinant and matrix inverses
• More analysis with spreadsheet programs

Molecular Modelling Key Skills
This section will be the respo nsibility of Dr Richard Bonar-Law. The lectures and workshops will cover:
• Introduction: summary of techniques covered in the course, and sources for further reading.
• Molecular Mechanics using force-fields
• Quantum chemical methods 1: HF-SCF, basis sets.
• Quantum chemical methods 2: Geometry optimisation, HF limit, CI, MP2, DFT
• Semi-empirical and empirical methods: AM1, PM3, conformational analysis.
• Modelling non-covalent interactions: van der Waals, electrostatics, aromatic stacking, hydrogen bonding, cooperativity.

General Key Skills
This section will be the responsibility of Dr James Gaynor
• Semester 1: engage with and produce material related to shortlisting activities and digital media
• Semester 2: engage with commercial awareness and industry-linked activities. This will vary from year to year depending on the availability of industria l partners and their requirements, but activities aim to include assessment centre like activities and digitial storytelling based activities.


Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at readinglists.liverpool.ac.uk. Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours     2

    43

14

59
Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 91
TOTAL HOURS 150

Assessment

EXAM Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
on-line class test for quantitative skills There is a resit opportunity.  120 minutes    10       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
Shortlisting and digital media activities (semester 1) and industry-linked activities (semester 2). Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment.      15       
4 Molecular Modelling assignment problems + group poster There is no resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedul  5 x 1 hour sessions    35       
Solutions to Quantitative Key Skills Workshop exercises, submitted online before deadlines to be set at a later date. There is a resit opportunity This is not an anonymous assessment Scheduled ov  12 x problem sets (e    40