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 2A
Code CHEM281
Coordinator Dr GR Darling
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2022-23 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 7.5

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



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 communication, presentation 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

(LO3) Molecular Modelling skills. By the end of this module, a successful student will have gained:
* a qualitative understanding of empirical models, knowing which model is suitable for a particular type of problem.
* Some experience of modelling intermolecular forces and complexes.

(LO4) General key skills: By the end of this module, a successful student will have improved their knowledge of methods of presenting chemical research

(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

This module aims 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 Canvas, email and on-line information will be made, with students expected to use canvas to view announcements, presentations and obtain
information and tutorial tasks and to submit assessments.

Quantitative Key Skills (QKS)
This part of the module will be taught in problem solving classes/workshops (6 x 3 hours), using computers where necessary. In most cases, these will start with an introductory lecture.
Due to differing levels of ability and experience in mathematics, there will be additional more testing, optional problems worth 20% of the Maths workshop mark.
*Workshops + lectures: 18 hr

Molecular Modelling Key Skills (MMKS)
Lectures (2) will introduce the concepts practic ed in 2 workshops with associated assignments. The workshops are optional drop-in sessions up to 3 hr long.
*Lectures: 2 hr
*Workshops: 2 hr (assuming 1 hr per workshop)

General Key Skills (GKS)
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.
*Lectures: 2 hr
*Tutorials: 2 hr

In total:
*Lectures (separately scheduled): 4 hr
*Tutorials: 2 hr
*Workshops (maths workshops include lecture at start): 20 hr



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 involve a selection from the following topics designed specifically to match the requirements of the semester one module CHEM261 Physical Chemistry IIA:
•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
•Complex numbers and their use in quantum mechanics
•Basic matrix-vector algebra
•Eigenvectors, eigenvalues, the matrix determinant and matrix inverses

Molecular Modelling Key Skills
This section will be the responsibilit y 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
•Modelling non-covalent interactions: van der Waals, electrostatics, aromatic stacking, hydrogen bonding, cooperativity.

General Key Skills Tutorials
•Produce and give a team-based summary and PowerPoint presentation on a topical area of research taken from Chemistry World.

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 4



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 49


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Solutions to Quantitative Key Skills Workshop exercises, submitted during workshop - submission after the workshop is allowed if student misses workshop for good reason. There is a resit opportunity     60       
2 Molecular Modelling assignment problems There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment.    30       
Group research summary and group Powerpoint presentation There is no re-sit for the group assessments. Should a student miss one of the group sessions due to accepted extenuating circumstances, th    10