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Unit information: Core Aerosol Science I in 2021/22

Unit name Core Aerosol Science I
Unit code CHEMM0015
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Reid
Open unit status Not open



Core Aerosol Science II

School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

Aerosols are particles dispersed in a gas phase with sizes ranging from molecular clusters (>1 nm) to large droplets (>100 um). Aerosol science is core to a broad range of disciplines extending from drug delivery to the lungs, to disease transmission, aerosol routes to the manufacture of new materials, combustion, environmental science, and the delivery of consumer and agricultural products. This unit will deliver a comprehensive and broad-based training in the core physical science of aerosols, transferable across all domains. Topics across the Core Aerosol Units will be: the formation of new particles and nucleation; aerosol mechanics and statistics; droplet condensation/evaporation; particle sources; sprays; aerosol deposition; coalescence and adhesion; sampling; filtration; analysis techniques; optical properties; electrical properties; aerosol thermodynamics; chemical composition; chemical reactions; and biological aerosols. The syllabus will be taught in eight 2-day short courses delivered by academics, industry partners and researchers in the public and governmental sectors. This will be augmented by a weekly research webinar and journal club designed to broaden the horizons of students. Students will also attend one 2-day focus meetings on specific areas of research in aerosol science hosted by the UK and Ireland Aerosol Society. Each topic will be taught using research-based instructional strategies, for example Team-Based Learning, small-group problem solving and discussion, and peer-instruction.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a secure grasp of the key concepts underpinning the physical science of aerosols, such as in new particles and nucleation, aerosol mechanics and statistics, droplet condensation/ evaporation, particle sources, sprays, aerosol deposition, coalescence and adhesion, and sampling methods.
  • Apply the theoretical knowledge gained in these areas of aerosol science across a range of research problems of a chemical, physical, biological or technological nature, such as the approaches to generate and sample bioaerosol.
  • Develop or adapt advanced methodological approaches in aerosol science to contemporary problems, recognising the complexity and tolerating the ambiguity that arises in real-world systems, such as develop approaches to measure aerosol particle size distributions in dynamically evolving systems.
  • Function effectively and confidently in multidisciplinary teams, acting autonomously and taking responsibility for the scientific activity of others, working within a team-based learning environment to tackle problems in aerosol science, such as in approaches to generate aerosol sprays.

Teaching Information

E- learning:
Pre-class learning materials (powerpoints, videos, reading lists) to be provided on the CDT portal.

Breakdown of contributing activity:
Aerosol fundamentals: 120 hours of contact time (eight 2-day courses in aerosol science, 7.5 hours / day).
Self-study and online tests (individual or group): 80 hours
Research highlights: 25 hours of contact time (webinar) and pre-webinar reading
Journal club: 30 hours of group activity and pre-club reading
Focus meetings: 25 hours of contact time and pre-meeting reading

Assessment Information

Prior to and following each 2-day short course (each focussed on a different core concept), students will have time for self-study, supported by materials available on the CDT web-portal. In accordance with best practice for assessing higher level cognition and competencies, assessment will be by continuous multiple-choice ‘two-stage’ problem-based on-line tests following individual training modules. The two-stage tests will involve, first, an individual-based assessment followed by a team-based assessment (based on the same material). The eight short courses will each be assessed equally (12.5% each, continual assessment throughout TB 1). Assessment will be designed in collaboration with the course contributors and will address each of the learning outcomes.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CHEMM0015).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.