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Unit information: Major Research Project in 2015/16

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Unit name Major Research Project
Unit code CHEMM0670
Credit points 40
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Wyatt
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is carried out under the direction of a member of the academic staff and provides training in research methods and techniques. The topic of the project can be in any branch of chemistry and includes a critical evaluation of the chemical literature as well as the planned design and execution of experiments needed to establish further chemical knowledge. Students are expected to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired at Level 3. The results of the project work are often eventually included in primary publications in the chemical literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The unit will enable student to:

  • Build on and apply their existing knowledge and understanding of chemistry through the study of an original topic in chemistry
  • Explore new concepts drawn from the chemical literature and, in doing so, develop knowledge and understanding of an advanced topic in chemistry.
  • Maintain a laboratory notebook or reflective diary as an accurate record of their work.
  • Gain experience of advanced practical techniques and equipment and/or computational methods.

The unit will also help students to develop transferable skills in:

  • Time management and other organisational skills
  • Independent study and the development of diligence, motivation and initiative
  • Team working
  • Research mothods, including sourcing, reviewing, summarising and referencing existing literature
  • Use of IT
  • Oral presentation
  • Written work, including the presentation of introductory material, experimental details, results, discussion, conclusions and references in an appropriate format.

Teaching Information

Students will work with a member of staff and their research group. Student will identify in advance several preferred project topics and supervisors. Academic performance will then be used to determine the final allocation to ensure an even distribution of students across academic staff.

Students will be expected to work semi-independently under the direction of their project supervisor, using their initiative to develop the project. Students may also be expected to attend seminars and group meetings. Project work will be supported by regular formal and informal meetings with the project supervisor and a second assessor.

Assessment Information

Summative assessment: Project Report 90%; Oral Presentation 10%. The project report will usually be between 25 – 40 pages in length. Students will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of the material presented, their technical skills, as well as their diligence, motivation, initiative and organisational skills. All elements of the unit will be assessed by both the project supervisor and second assessor through the application of detailed marking criteria.

Reading and References

Key reading and references will depend upon the topic chose. Students will be expected to make extensive use of the library resources available to them, including text books, reports and theses and research journals.