Module code: CHRM002

Module Overview

The module provides professional and personal development skills aimed at the Research Chemist. Aspects of project planning, time management and experimental design are covered. Additionally, an important part of research is independent study of the area, particularly the investigation of prior literature work. This is increasingly an IT–based activity and the module covers the use of a variety of methods to search journals, books and patents. It is also important to be able to handle data produced during any research project. As such you will be equipped with the statistical skills necessary for data analysis.  In addition, throughout a scientific career, the ability to communicate the details of one’s research to both those in the scientific community and the general public is a necessity. At the end of the module you should be comfortable presenting your work to a scientific audience.

Module provider


Module Leader

WATSON DJ Dr (Chemistry)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: X210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Experimental design
Introduction to time management
IT – literature retrieval
Writing Reports
Patent searching
Statistics and data analysis
Presentation skills

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation ORAL PRESENTATION 25

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

the ability to plan the elements of a research project and, using a Gantt chart and Critical Path Analysis, consider the timing of, and relationship between, those tasks [LOs 4, 5, b, c]

the ability to search the literature databases available and use referencing tools to produce an electronic report containing citation links [LOs 1, 2, 3, 6, a, b]

the use of advanced statistical methods to analyse (provided) raw data and the preparation of a ‘communication-style’ short article describing those results [LOs 1, 2, 3, 7, a, b]

the ability to prepare, using appropriate techniques, and deliver a presentation base on their research [LOs 1, 2, 3, 5, b, d]


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

four equally weighted pieces of coursework spread evenly throughout the Semester designed to assess all of the learning outcomes.

Coursework 1: Time management and Gantt charts (Week 2, 25%) [LOs Assessed 4, 5, b, c]

Coursework 2: Literature reviewing and writing an introduction to a dissertation (Week 3, 25%) [LOs Assessed 1, 2, 3, 6, a, b]

Coursework 3: Statistics and Data Analysis (Week 6, 25%) [LOs Assessed 1, 2, 3, 7, a, b]

Coursework 4: Preparing and Delivering an oral presentation (Week 10, 25%) [LOs Assessed 1, 2, 3, 5, b, d]


Formative assessment and feedback

Feedback will be provided on all coursework in the form of detailed, individualised comments on the marked scripts within the time allowed for marking coursework.

Formative assessment will be given in class during demonstrations and example problems. A “practice presentation” for the final piece of coursework is conducted during an earlier session and the students are provided general feedback from their peers and also individualised one-to-one feedback and formative assessment from the supervising academic.


Module aims

  • A knowledge of the different tools available to search journals, books and patents for relevant information
  • An understanding of aspects of project design
  • An understanding of the elements that make a successful scientific presentation
  • The confidence to present their work to a group of their peers and more senior researchers

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Know the various ways to obtain scientific information (e.g. chem abstracts, web of science, databases, scientific search engines) particularly by use of IT CPT
002 Be able to perform detailed literature surveys, also with emphasis on IT KCPT
003 Be able to write articles and present talks on a particular area and be able to modify them to be suited to a particular audience (i.e. scientific or general public) CPT
004 Be able to design experiments, assess progress and modify goals CPT
005 Be cognisant of the management implications of research CPT
006 Be aware of the role of patents P
007 Use appropriate methods of data treatment KCPT
008 Reviewing, assessing, critical thinking T
009 Reporting T
010 Time Planning T
011 Presentation Skills T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 18

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop the professional skills needed by the students to become independent researchers.

The learning and teaching methods include:

combined seminars/workshops/discussion sessions/software demonstrations (3 hrs per week for 9 weeks)
independent learning (123 hours of directed reading and coursework assignments)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry MRes 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.