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Unit information: Intermediate Practical and Analytical Chemistry for Chemical Physics in 2015/16

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Unit name Intermediate Practical and Analytical Chemistry for Chemical Physics
Unit code CHEM20220
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Wyatt
Open unit status Not open

CHEM10600, CHEM10800



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit develops the introduction to practical chemistry given in CHEM 10600/800 to provide the essential skills of practical chemistry required for advanced study at Levels 6 and 7 (Years 3 and 4). It covers the main areas of the subject including synthetic techniques including gas handling, use of glassware and vacuum and inert atmosphere. It looks at taking measurements, data handling and scientific reporting. The fundamental apparatus and analytical techniques such as chromatography, mass spectroscopy and optical spectroscopy methods are explored.


This unit aims to provide a deepening understanding and widening knowledge of the main areas of practical and analytical chemistry, building on year 1 material and laying the basis to enable progress to advanced aspects of the subject in later years. Students face more challenging experiments than in the first year and learn to choose appropriate techniques for a given problem and the importance of control experiments. The unit aims to teach students how to structure reports. The unit equips students with a fundamental understanding of the array of analytical techniques available in a modern laboratory and how to use them.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Experimental component:

  • Be confident in the use of glassware
  • Be able to handle pyrophoric materials under inert conditions;
  • Understand the importance of control experiments
  • Be able to use prediction of outcomes as part of experiment planning
  • Be able to choose an appropriate technique to address a problem
  • Confidence in using spreadsheets to analyse data
  • Have a basic knowledge of risk assessment and how to minimize risk
  • Demonstrate whether a set of data agrees with a given theory
  • Drawing inferences from data sets
  • Know how to record accurate, reproducible data
  • Understanding the importance of testing and calibrating apparatus

Report writing:

  • Know how to write a report on an experiment, with appropriate structure, use of diagrams, figures and tables, and scientific language
  • Be able to find suitable references and include these appropriately

Analytical component:

  • An understanding of the theory of chromatography
  • An understanding of the theory of mass spectrometry including fragmentation pat

Teaching Information

Lectures, workshops (classes of up to 30 students with two staff members), masterclasses (interactive seminar sessions of the whole class) and independent study. The Dynamic Laboratory Manual provides important e-learning resource in advance of workshop/masterclass sessions. Pre-workshop online material will be provided to assist students with the contact workshop.

There will also be laboratory-based practical chemistry experiments, led by a laboratory teaching fellow and guided by demonstrators. Significant e-resources for this are available on the School’s Dynamic Laboratory Manual, including guidance on how to conduct the experiments and on how to report them in a scientific fashion.

Assessment Information

The analytical component (20%) will be summatively assessed by one 1-hour written exam. The laboratory component (80%) will be summatively assessed by continual assessment of laboratory experiments (supervised practicals) and written reports (assessed coursework).

Reading and References

  • Most of the reading needed for this course is available on the Dynamic Laboratory Manual

  • Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry, 8th Edition, D. A. Skoog, D. M. West, F. J. Holler and S. R. Crouch, Brooks Cole, 2004