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Unit information: Communication & Information Skills in Chemistry in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Communication & Information Skills in Chemistry
Unit code CHEM10002
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Chris Adams
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to teach many of the skills that modern chemists need to succeed at University and in the workplace. These include academic integrity, information searching and critical assessment, methods of learning, project planning, team working, data management and stewardship, and presentation skills. As well as learning these skills which underpin and support the other first year chemistry courses, students will also begin to construct a personal portfolio and will be taught some basic interview and CV preparation techniques in order to prepare them for life after graduation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to find chemical information using online databases, and will know how to reference their findings
  • Students will be able to critically assess information sources
  • Students will understand different learning styles
  • Students will understand how science is presented in the media and be able to assess the validity of that presentation and the reasons for it
  • Students will have improved their scientific writing skills
  • Students will have a greater appreciation of the work carried out in the School of Chemistry
  • Students will have started to prepare a personal skills record and the benefits of a personal development plan
  • Students will understand the concept of Academic Integrity and the effects this has on their personal study
  • Students will have learned some team-working skills
  • Students will have learned effective ways to apply for jobs
  • Students will have learned new presentation skills
  • Students will earn how to use chemical drawing software

Teaching Information

Teaching will be through weekly workshops and PASS sessions. Much of the intended content concerns digital literacy, and workshops will be held in a computer-equipped facility in order to facilitate their delivery.

Assessment Information

The unit is to be continuously assessed throughout the year (100%). This is by means of:

  • A number of small computer-marked tests, each contributing a percentage of the overall mark.
  • Assessed group work, with each student receiving an individualised mark based on their contribution to the task.

Formative assessment will be through use of the PeerWise program ( which will be used to help students revise for exams, and by means of peer review and feedback. To receive credit for this unit, students must make a reasonable attempt at every aspect of the teaching and assessment, including engaging in group-working 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.

Reading and References

R Recommended reading: Study and communication skills for the Chemical Sciences, Tina Overton, Stuart Johnson and Jon Scott, 2nd edition, OUP 2015