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Unit information: Intermediate Practical Chemistry in 2021/22

Unit name Intermediate Practical Chemistry
Unit code CHEM20004
Credit points 40
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Parrish
Open unit status Not open

CHEM10004 Introductory Practical Chemistry



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit builds on the practical skills acquired in CHEM10004, introducing more complex laboratory techniques and technologies to provide students with the skills required for advanced study in year 3. It develops research and transferable skills to equip students with the tools needed to effectively approach a research project and the workplace.


The unit develops students’ skills in synthetic techniques, interpretation of analytical data, instrumentation and manipulation/interpretation of numerical data. It develops research skills including experiment planning, teamworking and written and oral communication skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, a successful student will be able to:

  • Use a variety of common laboratory techniques to carry out syntheses
  • Use inert atmosphere techniques to carry out air sensitive reactions
  • Accurately interpret analytical data including NMR, mass spec, IR and GC
  • Record accurate and reproducible measurements
  • Use spreadsheets to manipulate numerical data and demonstrate whether data agrees with a given theory
  • Estimate uncertainties from multiple data points
  • Write a risk assessment and minimise risk in the laboratory
  • Use computational modelling to study simple molecules and reactions
  • Search and use information from literature
  • Plan an experiment
  • Work effectively as part of a team
  • Write a report on an experiment, with appropriate structure and use of diagrams, figures and tables, scientific language and literature information
  • Present and discuss work orally

Teaching Information

The unit is delivered mainly via laboratory-based chemistry experiments, supported by tasks in experiment planning, group working, report writing and oral presentation. Significant e-learning resources are available on the School’s Dynamic Laboratory Manual, including guidance on the experiments themselves, the techniques needed, and how to report them in a scientific fashion. Individual feedback is given by academic staff and demonstrators.

Summary of approximate workload:

Practical Classes: (24 x 6 hours) 144 hours

Workshops: (12 x 2 hours) 24 hours

Self-study and continuous assessment: 232 hours

Total: 400 hours

Assessment Information

Students will be continuously assessed in practical work and research skills (formative and summative).

To receive credit for this unit, students must make a reasonable attempt at every aspect of the teaching and assessment, including laboratory-based and online experiments, pre-and post-laboratory work, formal reports and presentations, group-working and any workshop activities. Failure to do so may result in credit being withheld, even if the overall mark is above the pass mark for the unit. Supplementary or resit assessment of this unit is only possible through engagement in the following academic year.


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. CHEM20004).

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.