Chemistry for Sustainable Energy (MChem) Add to your prospectus

  • Offers study abroad opportunities Offers study abroad opportunities
  • Opportunity to study for a year in China Offers a Year in China
  • This degree is accreditedAccredited

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: F103
  • Year of entry: 2018
  • Typical offer: A-level : AAB / IB : 35 / BTEC : Not accepted
chemistry-1

Module details

Programme Year One

In the first year, you will take modules that cover the fundamentals of Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry, plus necessary key skills, totalling 90 credits. Four Chemistry modules combine theoretical and practical aspects and one Chemistry module develops Quantitative and General Key Skills.

You will spend 3 to 6 hours per week in the laboratory and so will receive a comprehensive training in practical aspects of the subject.

In addition, you will have a choice of 30 credits of subsidiary modules from other Departments including Environmental Sciences, Biological or Biomedical Sciences (Anatomy, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology or Physiology), Mathematics, Physics and Archaeology.

There are also optional courses within Chemistry covering, eg. the Chemistry-Biology interface, and in the second semester you can opt to take a research inspired course ‘Innovative Chemistry for Energy and Materials’ delivered by staff in the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy.

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Introductory Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM111)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of the underlying principles of the chemistry of the main group elements and to give them an appreciation of the importance of this chemistry in everyday life.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this module a student will have an understanding of:

    • The periodic table as an underlying framework for understanding the chemistry of the main group elements
    • The crystal structures of metals and simple ionic solids
    • Lewis acid-Lewis base interactions
    • Systematic chemistry of halides and hydrides of the main group elements
    • Systematic chemistry of halides and hydrides of the main group elements
    • The basic techniques required for the preparation and analysis of simple inorganic compounds

    A student will also have developed the following skills:

    • Planning and time-management associated with practical work
    • Report writing
  • Introductory Physical Chemistry (CHEM152)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    The main aim of this module is to equip students with an understanding of basic kinetics and thermodynamics as they relate to chemical reactions.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of the module students should be familiar with, and be able to make appropriate use of:

    • Basic ideas of energy changes in chemical reactions
    • Ideas relating to the rates of chemical reactions
    • Basic laboratory skills and report writing, including data and error analysis
  • Introductory Organic Chemistry (CHEM130)
    Level1
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    The aim of this module is to ensure that students are aware of fundamental principles of organic chemistry, including nomenclature, structure and bonding, and the basic principles of static and dynamic stereochemistry. The major reactions associated with the common functional groups will be covered with emphasis on reaction mechanisms. In addition, this module will provide an introduction to the basic techniques associated with practical synthetic chemistry.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this module students will know:

    • Structures and shapes of major classes of organic compounds
    • Principles of bonding in major classes of organic compounds
    • Basic principles of stereochemistry
    • Important reactions of a range of functional groups
    • An understanding of the major classes of reaction mechanisms
    • The basic techniques of synthetic chemistry (isolation, purification, identification, and design and work-up of reactions) and will have experience of characterisation using spectroscopic techniques and chemical methods.
  • Introductory Spectroscopy (CHEM170)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

     

    The aim of this module is to introduce modern spectroscopic methods in chemistry. Students will understand
    • the importance of quantum mechanics in understanding atomic structure
    • the interaction of light with matter
    • atomic and molecular spectroscopy
    • information obtained from different spectroscopic techniques
    • the interpretation of spectroscopic data
    • deduction of molecular structure from spectroscopic data

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this module, students should have achieved the following learning outcomes:

    • An understanding of atomic structure.
    • The fundamental principles behind rotational, vibrational, electronic spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, andnuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.  
    • Application of spectroscopic techniques to elucidate moecular structure.
    • Be abble to apply this knowledge to real spectroscopic problems.
  • Key Skills for Chemists 1 (CHEM180)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The aim of this module is:

    (i) to equip students with the basic quantitative transferable skills required for the first year of a Chemistry degree programme. (60% of module)

    (ii) to broaden a student''s perspective of chemistry whilst developing their general transferable skills with a focus on communication and employability. (40% of module)

    Learning Outcomes

    The overarching leaning outcome is for students to have the key skills that will equip them to perform well in the rest of their chemistry degree programme.

    The learning outcomes can be divided into two areas: Quantitative and General Key Skills.

    Quantitative key skills:

    By the end of this module a successful student should be able to handle:

    • Simple volumetric calculations as required for titrations in analytical chemistry;
    • Basic algebraic manipulation and functions needed for kinetics, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics;
    • Elementary geometry required for the understanding of molecular shapes and solid state chemistry;
    • The representation of data via graphs, particularly straight line graphs, and the manipulation of data in spreadsheet programs for data analysis;
    • The basic idea of a derivative and an integral for use in physical chemistry;
    • The physical concepts of energy, momentum and angular momentum;

      ​​General key skills:

       

      By the end of this module a sucessful student will understand:

      • basic aspects of working safely in a chemistry laboratory;
      • aspects of chemical research;
      • the importance of chemistry in the development of our society;
      • chemical databases;
      • the need for academic integrity;
      • how chemistry can contribute to their transferable skills;

      In addition successful students will have developed their:

      • investigative, critical, writing and presentation skills;
      • chemical database skills;
      • employability skill.;
    • Innovative Chemistry for Energy and Materials (CHEM184)

      By the end of this module a student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

      • simple chemical and electrochemical reactions
      • the relationship between fundamental materials properties and technological applications
      • the role of chemistry in complex multidisciplinary technologies
      • basic principles of battery/supercapacitor electrochemistry - such as the electric double layer
      • calculation of theoretical specific energies and energy densities
      • challenges and goals of research in energy storage/conversion devices
      • intercalation of ions into host structures
      • the basic principle of operation of a fuel cell
      • basic theory of semiconductors
      • different classes of photovoltaic devices
      • basic principles of an artificial leaf
      • the chemical technologies involved in the realisation of the "smart phone"
      • liquid crystalline state and optical anisotropy
      • the origin of electrical conductivity

      A student will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

      • self-study - via independent reading of suggested review articles
      • critical thinking - for example there are many different energy storage devices with adventagous and disadventagous propeties and scientific challenges to overcome - and the students ability to evaluate material presented to them can be assessed by short essay question in the examination
      Level1
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of:

      1. The underlying principles of the chemistry of electrochemical storage devices (batteries, supercapacitors) and energy conversion devices (fuel cells)

      2. The fundamentals of solar energy conversion including photovoltaics and artificial solar synthesis

      3. How chemistry impacts strongly on everyday devices - using the "smart phone" as an illustrative example to introduce concepts of modern displays (liquid crystal, organic LED), coating technology and transistors

      The course will cover a wide variety of topics in the area of innovative chemistry for energy and materials. This will act as an introduction to these areas to enable the student to pursue their interests to a deeper level independently, and to provide a foundation level knowledge in materials and electrochemistry, to be expanded in subsequent core and optional chemistry modules.

      Learning Outcomes







    Year Two Compulsory Modules

    • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM231)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to introduce important carbon-carbon bond forming reactions within a mechanistic and synthetic framework, together with exposure to a selection of stereochemical issues.

      Learning Outcomes

      Students should be able to solve problems featuring:

      Scope and mechanisms of basic reactions (nucleophilic and electrophilic substitutions, addition and elimination reactions)

      Basic carbonyl chemistry (alkylation, acylation, aldol, conjugate additions).

      Structure, reactivity and synthesis of simple heterocycles (including pyridines, pyrroles, furans)

      Functional group interconversions and stereochemistry.

    • Measurements in Chemistry (CHEM246)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to instruct students in the practice of taking physical measurements, the critical analysis and evaluation of experimental data, the application of measurements to the study of chemical phenomena and the dissemination of results.

      Learning Outcomes
      By the end of the module, students should be able to
      1.      take physical measurements of varying complexity using a wide range of experimental techniques;
      2.      assess the risks involved in chemical lab work and handle chemical materials in a safe manner;
      3.      choose appropriate methods for the analysis of data;
      4.      analyse experimental data using graphs, spreadsheets and linear regression;
      5.      assess the accuracy and significance of experimental results;
      6.      apply the results of physical measurement to the interpretation of chemical phenomena;
      7.      combine units and perform a dimensional analysis;
      8.      have experience of the application of spectroscopic techniques (UV, IR, NMR and mass spectrometry) in the characterization of organometallic and inorganic compounds;
      9.      organise and plan their time effectively.
    • Preparative Chemistry: Synthesis and Characterisation (CHEM245)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      The module aims to present a unified approach to the synthesis and characterisation of organic and inorganic compounds and will build on techniques introduced in the first year laboratory courses.

      Learning OutcomesStudents will complete a number of different experiments and synthetic techniques across synthetic, organic and inorganic chemistry.

      ​Students will appreciate how spectroscopic techniques can be used in the characterisation of organic and inorganic compounds and will be able to use analytical and spectroscopic methods to characterise their synthesised compounds.

      ​Students will make use of scientific databases during some assignments and an electronic report.

      ​Students will assess the risks inolved in chemical lab work and handle chemical materials in a safe manner.

      ​Students should be able to organise and plan their time effectively

      ​Students will experience working collaboratively with others in multiple learning environments

    • Metals and Metalloids of the P and D-blocks (CHEM214)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      Aims:

      This module is an introduction to the co-ordination and organometallic chemistry of 3d transition metals, and will encompass theory, physical methods and descriptive chemistry.

      The aims of the module are:

      • To outline how bonding theories (valence bond, crystal field, ligand field) have been developed by chemists to rationalise important properties of the d–block elements, many of which distinguish them from organic and main group compounds
      • To illustrate the chemistry of the transition elements by a detailed study of three groups, Ti/Zr/Hf, Fe/Ru/Os and Ni/Pd/Pt, including:
        • Discovery, isolation and technological importance of the elements and their compounds
        • A survey of the chemistry of the different oxidation states and a comparison of the 3d elements with their heavier 4d and 5d relatives
        • Brief comparisons/contrasts with neighbouring groups of elements.
      • To introduce the theory underlying the use of appropriate physical and spectroscopic techniques for characterising d–block complexes, and examples of their application.
      • To introduce the chemistry, and some applications, of complexes in low oxidation states, including:
        • CO as an examplar of a p-acceptor ligand
        • 3d Metal carbonyl complexes
        • Analogous ligands, e.g. NO, RNC
        • The 18-electron rule; what it is, and why it applies to these complexes.
      • To introduce the chemistry, and some applications, of p-block elements and compounds.         

       

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module students should:

      • Show an understanding of the concepts, applications and limitations of the different bonding theories relevant to transition-metal complex chemistry, and be aware of their relative relevance in different chemical contexts.
      • Be able to identify key elements of the structures of transition-metal complexes, and apply their knowledge of spectroscopic and physical techniques to work out the correct structure for a complex, given relevant chemical and spectroscopic information.
      • Be able to describe the social, economic and technological importance of selected transition elements.
      • Understand and be able to describe the significance of the syntheses, characterisation and chemistry of 3d metal complexes encountered in the practical module, CHEM245.
      • Understand the origin of the18-electron rule, its application and the sort of complexes to which it applies.
    • Physical Chemistry II (CHEM260)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims
    • ​To explain the application of the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics to chemical reactions.

    • ​To reinforce the basic ideas on factors affecting the rates of chemical reactions and quantify the kinetics.

    • To provide an introduction into basic concepts of quantum mechanics.​

    • ​To advance knowledge of quantitative analysis of molecular spectra.​
    • ​To make students familiar with the basic ideas of photochemistry.​

    • Learning Outcomes​Discuss the difference between ideal and real gases.

      ​Discuss the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics in the context of chemical reactions.​

      Carry out thermochemical calculations involving enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy.​
      ​Calculate equilibrium constants from thermodynamic data.

      ​Discuss the concept of the chemical potential and its application under ideal and non-ideal conditions.​
      ​Analyse experimental data for the determination of  reaction orders and rate coefficients, using appropriate methods depending on the type of data available.
      ​Derive and apply rate equations and integrated rate equations for 0th, 1st and 2nd order reactions. ​
      ​Show an understanding of activation barriers and apply the Arrhenius equation.​
      ​Describe qualitatively and quantitatively the kinetics of simple parallel, consecutive, and equilibration reactions. 
      ​Apply the pre-equilibrium and steady state approximations.​
      ​Describe different decay processes of photoexcited states and analyse them quantitatively.​
      ​Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of quantum mechanics, including operators and wavefunctions.​
      ​Show an understanding of molecular energy levels and the forms of spectroscopy which involve transitions between them.​

      Compute basic properties of diatomics, eg bond lengths, from molecular spectra.​

      ​Use mathematical procedures and graphs for quantitative data analysis and problem solving.​

      ​Present and discuss the solution to problems in a small-group environment.​

    • Key Skills for Chemists 2 (CHEM280)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting10:90
      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. (50% of module)

      2. To introduce students to the use of Molecular Modelling in Chemistry *(35% of modules

      3. To further develop a student''s  general transferable skills in oral and written communication, presentation and team working. (15% of module). ​
      Learning Outcomes

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

      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
      Molecular Modeling 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 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.

      General key skills:

      By the end of this module, a successful student will have improved:
      • knowledge of methods of presenting chemical research.
      • presentation skills
    • Functional Organic Materials (CHEM241)
      Level2
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      ​The aims of this module are to:

      • Provide students with an understanding of how synthetic polymers and synthesised and characterised.
      • Enable students understand the relationship between the structure and properties of organic materials.
      • Develop knowledge on some important characterisation techniques used for organic materials.
      • Give the students an insight into some of the organic materials research ongoing at the University of Liverpool.


      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students should be able to; name common monomers and polymers, describe different synthetic routes to produce polymers and discuss basic characterisation of synthetic polymers.

      ​Students will able to understand how to characterise organic crystalline and porous materials.

      ​Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of how functional organic materials are synthesised, and show an understanding of the relationship between the structure and properties of a material.

      ​Students will be able to outline how to design materials for specific applications.

    • Inorganic Applications of Group Theory (CHEM316)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      This module aims to demonstrate the underlying importance of symmetry throughout Chemistry, with particular applications to spectroscopic selection rules and bonding.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, students should be able to:

      • Identify symmetry elements in molecules
      • Assign molecules to their correct point groups
      • Use character tables to solve a variety of problems in spectroscopy and bonding
    • Chemistry for Sustainable Technologies (CHEM284)
      Level2
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
      Aims

      This module introduces the basic concepts of sustainability and sustainable development, particularly in relation to their technological underpinnings. The module will address the role of chemistry in relation to broad societal, environmental and developmental questions. The module also gives a fundamental understanding of the principles and technologies in Green Chemistry and the generation of Renewable Energy and Chemicals.

      The aims of the module are:

      • To explain the concepts and terminology of sustainability and sustainable development.
      • To highlight the role of science and technology in working towards sustainable development.
      • To illustrate the central role of thermodynamics and metrics in the critical and comparative assessment of the efficiency and impact of chemical technologies.
      • To exemplify new approaches to chemistry in the development of more sustainable chemical technologies.
      • To provide the student with a fundamental understanding of the principles of Green Chemistry and a fundamental knowledge in new technologies for the generation of renewable energy and chemicals.

       

      Learning Outcomes

      Students should be be able to demonstrate understanding of the:

      1. basic terminology of sustainable development and ''green'' chemistry

      2. non-rigorous nature of this terminology and its consequences

      3. importance of thermodynamic principles in judgements about what may be considered sustainable.

      4. strengths and weaknesses of ''green'' chemistry

      5. importance of catalysis in developing sustainable chemical technologies and the challenges associated with their implementation

      6. basics of new technologies in the generation of renewable energy and chemicals.

    Year Three Compulsory Modules

    • Further Organic Chemistry (CHEM333)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      The aim of the course is to extend second year knowledge of synthetic and physical organic chemistry.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, students should:

      • Have a good understanding of modern synthetic reactions and their mechanisms.
      • Be able to deduce mechanisms on the basis of kinetic and other evidence.
    • Further Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM313)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      The aims of the module are:

      • To explain the mechanisms by which transition metal complexes exchange ligands, and how they participate in redox reactions.
      • To outline and rationalise the chemistry of complexes with metal-alkyl and metal-carbene bond
      • To outline and rationalise the chemistry of transition-metal complexes containing metal to carbon s-bonds, eg metal-alkyl, metal-acetylide, metal-vinyl, and metal-carbene complexes
      • To show how metals coordinate to compounds such as alkenes, alkynes, allyls and conjugated p-systems CnHn (n = 5 to 8) via interactions with the C-C multiple bonds
      • To provide an introduction to the structures of solid state materials and the role of diffraction in studying these structures
      • To explain how electrons behave in extended structures, with particular reference to the distinction between metals and insulators, and the behaviour of doped semiconductors. 
      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, students should be able to:

      • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of ligand field and other factors in determining how metal complexes undergo ligand exchange, and how they undergo electron transfer.
      • Appreciate the bonding of different organic fragments to transition metals and how a variety of physical measurements can be used to substantiate these ideas.
      • Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of infinite solids and their diffraction of X-rays
      • Appreciate the factors affecting the electronic properties of solids.
    • Practical Chemistry With Database Skills (CHEM375)
      Level3
      Credit level30
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      In this module, students will spend four weeks carrying out advanced experimental work in the areas of Organic, Organometallic and Physical Chemistry.

      The general aims of the module are:

      • To give the student practical experience and understanding of advanced practical techniques for Organic, Organometallic and Physical Chemistry.
      • To develop appropriate techniques for each type of experiment
      • To show the use of appropriate characterisation techniques
      • To familiarise the student with the preparation of written reports
      • To establish a close link with aspects of the lecture material covered in the Yr 3 course

      There is also a component on chemical database skills:

      Chemical database skills and molecular modelling are becoming resouces now in common use by practicing chemical scientists. This part aims to introduce students to these skills through lectures and computer based workshop sessions. In this part, students will will attend six lectures and six practical sessions in chemical database skills and database skills. The general aims of this part are:

      • To establish a close link with aspects of the lecture material covered in the Yr 3 course
      • To introduce students to chemical database skills, including on-line searching of literature, citations, chemical reactions and structures.
      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, students should be able to

      • Carry out advanced practical techniques in the areas of Organic, Organometallic and Physical Chemistry
      • Give a reasoned written exposition of experimental work and achievements
      • Make valid deductions from acquired data
      • Give comprehensible written accounts of experimental work
      • Demonstrate an understanding of shortcomings, experimental errors or weaknesses in data
      • Further develop their time management skills via coordination of the synthetic and analytical components of their experiments
      • Show that they understand the wider social or technological relevance of their work
      • Use scientific databases effectively for literature and citation searches.
      • Find relevant information from on-line chemical databases regarding chemical reactions and structures
    • Further Physical Chemistry (mchem) (CHEM354)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to extend a student''s knowledge of Physical Chemistry, in particular to demonstrate the relationship between microscopic and macroscopic models for physical chemical phenomena, the quantum mechanical description of chemical bonding and the physical chemistry of electrochemical cells, surfactants and colloids.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, students should:

      • understand how macroscopic physical properties of a system are related to microscopic properties of molecules;
      • understand bonding in molecules from quantum mechanical principles;
      • understand the role of electron density in describing the properties of chemical bonds;
      • have an understanding of the physical chemistry of ideal and real electrochemical cells;
      • have an understanding of the physical chemistry of surfactants and colloids;
      • be able to apply their knowledge of physical chemistry to solve unseen problems.
    • Catalysis (CHEM368)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to give students a broad, interdisciplinary, background in catalysis across the traditional divides within chemistry.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, students should:

      • be able to speculate about possible reaction mechanisms given experimental observations.
      • be able to recognize mechanistic parallels between chemical and biocatalytic processes.
      • be aware of the most significant applications of organometallic catalysis
      • be able to propose a likely mechanism for a new catalytic reaction and to propose experiments designed to confirm or refute their proposal.
      • be able to evaluate the experimental evidence for and against a proposed mechanism for reaction that uses an organometallic catalyst.
      • possess a realistic integrated understanding and knowledge of the basic principles of heterogeneous catalysis.
      • ·be able to derive appropriate kinetic equations and models for catalytic reactions that may involve complicated reaction sequences.
      • be aware of special effects which may influence selectivity when microporous solids are used as catalysts.
    • Biorenewable Chemicals From Biomass (CHEM384)
      Level3
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims
    • ​​​​​​​​Biomass represents the most important renewable source for chemicals and a new “Bioeconomy” is emerging based upon its exploitation. This module provides the student with chemical and technical knowledge into available biomass feedstocks and their application and an updated critical overview of the emerging renewable chemicals and industries that are at the core of these transformations. Particular emphasis is given to the processes of commercial application,  as well as the opportunities, challenges, and new technologies emerging.


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    • ​To develop the skills required  to evaluate routes to biorenewable chemicals taking into consideration current economic, technological and sustainability issues.


    • ​To provide the students with an understanding of the current transformations that  the chemical industry is undergoing and to enable them to identify potential business opportunities.

    • To provide the students with updated knowledge and skills in an emerging industrial activity that will widen and enhance career options.

    • ​To provide the students with basic knowledge of the chemistry of biomass and its applications.

    • Learning OutcomesThe students should be able to demonstrate understanding of:
      1. Basic terminology anc chemical nomenclature associated with the area of biorenewable chemicals
      2. Biomass composition and its sources
      3. The main systhetic routes to derive chemicals from biomass
      4. Main biorefinaty models
      5. Sustainability issues associated with the use of biomass
      6. Main technologies, companies, industries, challenges and trends in the emerging bioeconomy
      ​ The students should be able to  
      1. Identify routes and opportunities to desired chemicals from biomass
      2. Critically evaluate routes to bioderived chemicals taking into account pathways for commercialisation
      3. Identify the potential applications of biodervied chemicals
    • Practical Chemistry Project Year 3 - An Introduction to Research Methods in Chemistry (CHEM366)
      Level3
      Credit level15
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      This module is an MChem level Year 3 mini research project with the aim of introducing students to research methods in chemistry through an extended project. In this module, students will be assigned an extended experiment on asynthetic (organic or inorganic), physical (catalysis, electrochemistry,surface science, modelling, nanoparticles) or interdisciplinary theme,according to their own interests and abilities, and therefore the aims of the module will differ slightly according to topic.

      The general aims of the module are:

      • To give the student a taste of research in a contemporary area of chemistry
      • 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 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

      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

    Year Four Compulsory Modules

    • Chemical Research Project (CHEM480)
      LevelM
      Credit level60
      SemesterWhole Session
      Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to develop the skills necessary to undertake independent research.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of this module students will have:

      • Acquired advanced laboratory skills.
      • Developed an ability to work independently and be self-critical in the evaluation of risks, experimental procedures and outcomes.
      • Extended their written and oral communication skills.
      • Extended their information-technology skills.
      • Acquired time-management and organisational skills.
      • Acquired competence in the planning, design and execution of experiments.
      • Acquired the ability to use an understanding of the limits of accuracy of experimental data to inform the planning of future work.

      Students will

      • Be able to predict the ground state energy, structure  and properties of isolated molecules (for relatively simple systems).
      • Be able to estimate equilibrium constants, rate constants and calculate transition states (for simple reactions).
      • Be able to rationalise aspects of reactivity (charge density, frontier orbitals).
      • Have some understanding of intermolecular forces and complexes (pharmacological example)
      • Be able to judiciously apply molecular modelling to their research projects
    • Electrochemistry (c Option) (CHEM453)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to develop the students knowledge of interfacial electrochemistry. This includes both the understanding of fundamental aspects of electrochemistry, as well as techniques for characterising surfaces under electrochemical conditions. Applications of electrochemistry will also be discussed.

      Learning Outcomes

      The students be knowledgeable on what happens when an aqueous medium is in the vicinity of the surface and be able to describe the structure that occurs in an electrochemical cell. They should be able to describe how cyclic voltammetry and potential step methods can be used to analyse and understand electrochemical reactions. They should be able to perform an electrochemical kinetic analysis of simple and multistep reactions as a means of analysing the mechanism. They should be able to analyse and to answer questions on a number of electrochemical reactions such as metal deposition, electroorganic reactions and adsorption. They should be able to describe fuel cell reactions (hydrogen/air and methanol/air) and be able to analyse fuel cell polarisation curves. They should also be aware of modern spectroscopic methods employed for analysing the solid/liquid interface and be able to describe the level of detail which can be obtained through appropriate application of these techniques.

    • Solid State Chemistry and Energy Storage Materials (CHEM442)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
      Aims

      ​Theaims of the module are:

      • To provide an introduction todiffraction methods for the characterisation of solid state materials.
      • To introduce the students tothe concepts and applications of symmetry in the solid state.
      • To provide an introduction tothe structures of solid state materials and their description and phasetransitions.
      • To provide a perspective onthe ranges of properties displayed by solids, particularly cooperativemagnetism, ferroelectricity, and multiferroicity and their relationships tostructure and symmetry.
      • To introduce the rich chemistry of insertionmaterials and highlight their relevance in energy applications.
      • To demonstrate the importance of defect chemistry with particular relevance to energy materials.
      • To provide a basic understanding of superconductivityand the chemistry of superconducting materials.​ 

      Learning Outcomes

      ​Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the application of diffraction methods to the characterisation of key material types in the solid state.

      ​Students will become familiar with a range of properties displayed by solids, particularly cooperative magnetism, ferroelectricity and multiferroicity, and how these relate to structure and symmetry.

      ​Student will be able to demonstrate a grasp of the importance of intercalation/insertion chemistry in energy storage applications (batteries).

      ​Students will develop the ability to relate fundamental concepts of diffraction, characterisation etc. in solid state chemistry to prctical applications in energy storage and related materials.

    Year Four Optional Modules

    • Advanced Spectroscopy (c Option) (CHEM451)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      This is an advanced module that aims to introduce the student to modern spectroscopic techniques and their applications in materials characterisation. Emphasis is given to those techniques, which are currently most important to chemical research both in industry and academia. The students should be able to understand the basic physical principles of these techniques and to decide which combination of techniques is best employed to tackle a particular problem of materials characterisation.  

      The module will deal in-depth with

      - vibrational spectroscopies (infrared reflection absorption, attenuated total internal reflection and surface enhanced Raman) and their application to the study of molecules at surfaces relevant to materials characterisation, heterogeneous catalysis and nanoscience;

      - electronic spectroscopies (X-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger, energy dispersive Xray spectroscopy) and their application to determine the chemical composition of interfaces.

      The module will also cover a range of other analytical chemistry tools suitable for interface and materials characterisation.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, successful students should have gained an in-depth understanding of a range of advanced spectroscopies and be able to explain the physical principles of these spectroscopies, analyse spectra and be able to discuss their suitability to address certain problems of materials characterisation. In particular, successful students should be able to:

      -         Explain surface vibrational spectroscopy (infrared absorption and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy), interpret spectra and apply selection rules to determine the orientation of molecules at surfaces.

      -         Explain electronic spectroscopies (photoelectron, Auger, energy dispersive Xray spectroscopy), interpret spectra and deduce surface chemical composition based on quantitative and qualitative analysis

      -         Critically compare different methods of spectroscopy and their suitability to tackle a particular problem in materials characterisation

      -          Critically evaluate the use of spectroscopy to support scientific conclusions based on literature

    • Asymmetric Catalysis for Organic and Pharmaceutical (CHEM496)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims

      To introduce students to the main aspects of asymmetric catalysis and its application in synthetic organic chemistry.

      Learning Outcomes
      • An understanding of the importance of asymmetric catalysis.
      • An understanding of the fundamental principles and mechanisms of asymmetric catalysis.
      • An understanding of the applications of asymmetric catalysis in fine chemicals and pharmaceutical synthesis.  
      • An opportunity to consider new developments in the field, especially those that underpin new environmentally benign processes.
    • Asymmetric Synthesis and Synthetic Strategy (CHEM433)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to further broaden and extend the knowledge of modern Organic Chemistry so that students will be able to enter directly into a PhD or embark on a career as a specialist chemist.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module students will have achieved a solid foundation in Organic Chemistry. In particular they will have a clear understanding of

      (a) stereocontrolled synthesis

      (b) main strategies in organic chemistry

      and be able to give examples of their use in modern synthetic methodology.

    • Application of Enzymes in Organic Synthesis €� Industrial Biotechnology (CHEM486)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      AimsThe aim of this module is to provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the application of enzymes and how to apply them in organic synthesis​.  Students will gain insight into modern methods of mutagenesis for enzyme optimisation and also cutting edge approaches to designing artifical enzymes and assemblage of cascade pathways for synthesis.
      Learning Outcomes

      Bythe end of the module, students should be able to:

       

       •   Understand how enzymes can be applied in organicsynthesis.

       •   Demonstrate a knowledge of how genes encode enzyme 3Dstructure

       •   Understand factors governing the selection ofbiocatalyst and biocatalyst type.

       •   Show an understanding of cofactor requirements andrecycling strategies in redox biotransformations.

       •   Show a knowledge of the advantages and limitations inthe application of biocatalysts.

                 •      Demonstrate a knowledge of enzyme immobilizationmethods.

                 •   Show an understanding of the use molecular biology formutagenesis 

          and directed evolution methods to improve enzyme activity or 

                    selectivity.

                 •   Have an appreciation of new approaches for creatingartificial    enzymes.


       •​  Understand how enzymereactions can be assembled into multistep cascade synthetic pathways.
    • Chemical Nanotechnology (CHEM494)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims

      The aims of this module are:

      • To introduce the student to some current problems and challenges of materials chemistry.
      • To provide the student with knowledge of important experimental methods in nanostructure research.
      • To create an appreciation for applied aspects of research in this area.
      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, students should:

      • Understand the concept of Self-assembly.
      • Have an overview of chemical and materials aspects of nanotechnology.
      • Be acquainted with metal, semiconductor and carbonaceous nanostructures.
      • Know the basics of TEM, STM and AFM
      • Be able to comment critically on prospective applications of nanostructured materials.
    • Introduction to Nanomedicine (CHEM426)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      The aims of the module are to:

      •To explain colloidal/self-assembling systems in detail and their role in nanomedicine. •Inform about the state of the art of materials for nanomedicines and the synthetic routes used.•To explain the pharmacological behaviour of nanomedicines and how different diseases require different approaches for successful treatment.

       

      Learning Outcomes

      Students should be able to show that they can define and explain colloidal systems and name examples of different colloids. They should demonstrate a detailed understanding of how colloidal stability can be obtained, and explain and utilise the principles behind calculating colloidal stability.

      ​Students should be able to describe the different types of nanomedicines and discuss the range of advanced synthetic routes used to produce different nanomedicine structures for oral and injectable administration. They should understand the differences between conjugated and non-conjugated delivery systems, including self-assembled nanostructures and be able to explain the advanced methods available for the characterisation of nanomedicines.

      ​Students will understand the principles behind pharmacokinetics and the importance of these principles to nanomedicine. They will understand the different routes of administration used to deliver nanomedicines and be able to explain how different diseases present different challenges to drug delivery and how nanomedicines can be desgined to targets specific diseases.

      Students will be able to examine the state of the art for nanomedicines and discuss the future research directions. ​

    • Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry (CHEM411)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims

      ​The aim of the module is to give students an overview of the most important aspects of the unique chemistry and spectroscopy of the lanthanide and actinide elements, illustrated with contemporary examples of the applications of their compounds in chemistry and technology.

      Learning Outcomes

      Students will understand the underlying principles of lanthanide and actinide chemistry, and how these differ from those of d-transition metal chemistry

      Students will have an understanding of the most important aspects of spectroscopy of compounds of the lanthanide

      Students will have an appreciation of how recent research is developing applications for the elements and their compounds

      Students will have appreciation of the strategic importance of the elements e.g. in nuclear power and sustainable energy applications

      ​Students will be able to read and critically evaluate research papers from the recent literature

    • Main Group Organic Chemistry 1: C Option (CHEM431)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to broaden and extend the knowledge of modern Organic Chemistry so that students will be able to enter directly into a PhD or embark on a career as a specialist chemist.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module students will have achieved a solid foundation in Organic Chemistry. In particular they will have a clear understanding of

      • Main Group Organic Chemistry
      • Organopalladium Chemistry
      and be able to give examples of their use in modern synthetic methodology.
    • Modelling of Functional Materials and Interfaces (CHEM454)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
      Aims
    • ​To provide students with an introduction to modern computational chemistry methods and concepts for functionalmaterials and interfaces. These methods will include primarilydensity functional theory methods for electronic structure but alsoan orientation towards wave function methods and classical moleculardynamics methods combined with force fields. 

    • ​To understand how computational modelling can be used in research and development of functional materials and interfaces

    • ​To be able to assess results from such computational modelling

    • ​To prepare students tocarry out competitive postgraduate research in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, Materlals Chemistry, and Functional Interfaces

    • Learning Outcomes

      P{margin-bottom:0.21cm;}P.western{;} To describe the role and merits of wave function versus density methods

      ​To describe some basic concepts of density functional theory such as: exchange-correlation functionals including some of their shortcomings and Kohn-Sham states

      ​To gain a basic understanding of the behaviour of electrons in periodic structures: solids and interfacesP{margin-bottom:0.21cm;}P.western{;}

      ​To be able to apply tight binding/Huckel to some simple situations

      To describe what can be learnt from computation of total energies and forces​

      To describe origin of interatomic and molecular forces and relate them to electronic structure

      ​To gain an understanding of force fields and their applicability

      To describe the basics of classical molecular dynamics and thermostats​

    • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (CHEM474)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      This is an advanced module that aims to introduce the student tomodern nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic techniques and theirapplications in analytical chemistry. The students will be able tounderstand the basic physical principles of NMR and to decide howto use it to tackle a particular problem of molecules and materialscharacterisation.  

      In particular, the module will deal with- the principles ofnuclear magnetic resonance, including modern methods for the determination ofchemical structure and intermolecular interactions in complex organicmolecules, polymers and solids as well as the concept of electron paramagneticresonance spectroscopy;

      Learning Outcomes​​By the end of the module, successful students should have gainedan in-depth understanding of NMR (and EPR) and be able to explain the physicalprinciples of these spectroscopies, analyse spectra and be able to discusstheir suitability to address certain problems of materials characterisation. Inparticular, successful students should be able to:

      - Discuss the behaviour of nuclear spins and theirensembles in an external magnetic field and the influence of magneticinteraction on the appearance of NMR spectra;

      - Describe the structure of modern NMR spectrometers,explain the concepts of data acquisition and processing and show anunderstanding of chemical shift, magnetisation, rotating frame of reference,scalar coupling and basic pulse programming;

      - Explain the origins of relaxation, the principles of the determinationof T1 and T2 relaxation times, their calculation from NMRdata, and the relationship between relaxation and molecular motion.

      - Explain the nuclear Overhauser effect and its use inanalysis of complex organic molecules;

      - Describe the main principles of one- and two dimensionalexperiments and interpret the spectra recorded for both liquids and solids;

      - Explain the differences in acquisition of solution andsolid-state NMR spectra and specific methods used for solids (magic anglespinning, cross-polarisation and decoupling);

      - Describe experiments suitable for the analysis ofinternuclear connectivites, distances and mobility in organic and inorganicsolids;

      - Understand the concept of electron paramagnetic resonance(EPR) spectroscopy;

      - Critically compare different methods of spectroscopy andtheir suitability to tackle a particular problem in materials characterization;

      - Critically evaluate the use of spectroscopy to support scientificconclusions based on literature.​
    • Organic Electronics (CHEM492)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
      Aims

      The aims of the module are:

      1. To show students how semiconducting organic molecules and materials can be designed and synthesised for use in a wide range of electronic devices, such as organic light-emitting diodes, thin film transistors, photovoltaic devices and sensors.

      2. To introduce the students to current topics of interest in the field of molecular electronics, the science of incorporating single molecules into electrical circuits.

      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of the module, students should:

      Be familiar with important structure-property relationships in pi-conjugated materials, and how these relate to their uses as organic semiconductors in different electronic devices.

      Be aware of synthetic routes to the materials, and how these can limit or control their properties.

      Be familiar with important parameters used to assess the performance of various organic electronic devices, such as OLEDs, OTFTs and OPVDs.

      Be aware of current and possible future industrial applications of this new technology.

      Be aware of concepts underlying experiments to determine the electrical properties of single molecules, and of the significance of these measurements.

      Be able to read and understand review papers from the literature in these areas.

    • Protein Structure and Dynamics (CHEM452)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterSecond Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting90:10
      Aims

      The aim of this module is to discuss the application of basic physical chemistry concepts for describing protein structure and dynamics and to show how advanced physical chemistry methods are used for investigating these important aspects of proteins.

      Learning Outcomes

      Ability to discuss the importance of protein structure and dynamics for understanding biological processes.

      Ability to describe the experimental methods that are used to study structure, folding and fast dynamics of proteins.

      Ability to discuss the physical chemistry principles underlying these methods and apply the basic equations needed for the analysis of such data.​

      Ability to describe and discuss some of the theoretical methods that are used to predict protein structure and and model protein folding/dynamics.​

      Ability to analyse PDB-structure files and create meaningful graphical representations from these files.​

    • Supramolecular Chemistry: C Option (CHEM443)
      LevelM
      Credit level7.5
      SemesterFirst Semester
      Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
      Aims

      Supramolecular chemistry deals with the interactions between molecules and has become one of the fundamental areas of chemical research. This module aims to introduce students to supramolecular chemistry through lectures and a tutorial. In this module students will attend 15 lectures and 1 tutorial. The general aims of the module are to introduce and develop the students’ knowledge of

      • the chemistry of molecular assemblies and intermolecular bonds, or chemistry beyond the molecule
      • concepts of non-covalent chemistry, host-guest chemistry, molecular recognition, self-assembly and self-organisation.
      Learning Outcomes

      By the end of this module the students will be

      • knowledgeable of non-covalent bonding such as hydrogen-bonding, ion-ion interactions, ion-dipole interactions, van der Waals forces, pi-pi stacking interactions, solvatophobic forces etc. with respect to  supramolecular chemistry.
      • able to describe, understand and rationalise a range of supramolecular assemblies

    The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


    Teaching and Learning

    Laboratory classes in Years One and Two prepare you for independent laboratory work in Years Three and Four. In Year Three you will carry out mini research projects, while in Year Four you will carry out research alongside PhD and postdoctoral researchers on cutting-edge projects, often leading to a first scientific publication. Computational modelling and molecular visualisation are introduced as interactive animated models from Year One, reinforced as a key skill in later years and by Year Four of MChem programmes you will be able to perform your own calculations to underpin final year research projects.


    Assessment

    You are assessed by examination at the end of each semester (January and May/June) and by continuous assessment of laboratory practicals, class tests, workshops, tutorials and assignments. You have to pass each year of study before you are allowed to progress to the following year. Re-sit opportunities are available in September at the end of Years One and Two. If you take an industrial placement, a minimum standard of academic performance is required before you are allowed to embark on your placements. You are expected to perform at a 2:1 level if you wish to continue on a MChem programme. All years of study (with the exception of Year One) contribute to the final degree classification.