Module code: CHRM008

Module Overview

The module consists of an extended research project. The project is from a choice of research areas and specific projects offered by members of academic staff. It will consist of novel, previously unexplored (or unpublished), work.

The module (project) will involve planning, background literature searching, use of advanced techniques, presentation of results, preparation of a written dissertation and oral examination.

At the end of the module you will have a thorough understanding of the process of planning and conducting an extended research project as well as an in-depth knowledge of the project subject area.

Module provider


Module Leader

WHELLIGAN Daniel (Chemistry)

Number of Credits: 135

ECTS Credits: 67.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: F100

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

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

The projects will normally be laboratory–based (including a computer laboratory) and will be designed to achieve the aims and learning outcomes as detailed above. The student will be expected to ensure understanding of the aims and objectives of the project and the wider context of the research. The student will be expected to achieve or at least work towards the objectives of the project. In general the work proposed for the project may involve elements of derivative work, but also elements that are new. A student is required to prepare and submit a dissertation covering, typically, the background/context of the project, the specific aims and objectives, the reporting of the results, analysis of results, interpretation of results and their implication within the wider context of the research.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) INTERIM REPORT 20
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) DISSERTATION 40
Oral exam or presentation VIVA 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

·         an in-depth knowledge of the subject area (dependent on the project) [LOs 2, 3, 6-12, a, c, d, e]

·         an analytical understanding of how their results fit in with existing literature on the subject [LOs 2, 3, 6-12, a, c, d, e]

·         the ability to discuss their research with their peers, academic staff and examiners [LOs 2, 3, 4, 7, 9-12, a, c]

·         a thorough understanding of the research process, including project design and reporting [LOs 1, 3-12, a, b, d, e, f, g]


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Interim presentation, early June, 20% [LOs assessed 1-12 a, c-f]

·         Written dissertation, submitted mid-October, 40% [LOs assessed 1-12 a-e, g]

·         Oral Examination, before end October, 40%  [LOs assessed 1-12 a-f]


Formative assessment and feedback

Feedback will be provided on the students performance and progress in the form of regular meetings with their supervisor.

Regular formative assessment will be provided by the supervising academic when discussing results and project progress.


Module aims

  • The aim of the project is to provide laboratory–based practical training in chemical research within the format of a project with a definite research goal.  The research must be novel.  For example, clarification of existing knowledge (normally by experiment), proposing and preliminary experimental testing of new or modified hypotheses, preparation and characterisation of a small range of new materials (including derivatives), new or expanded applications of existing technologies (or methodologies, or materials, etc.), incremental advances in wide–ranging fields, etc. Compared with the MSc project, the larger MRes project will be expected to yield results of greater quantity and/or quality. Further, the overall piece of research should be able to stand alone and be comparable in scope, if not necessarily in quantity or quality, to those expected for a short communication or note–type publication.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Carried out of a piece of laboratory work appropriate to the amount of time expected (see above
2 Acquired materials or data that can be critically analysed and discussed in a dissertation and at viva.
3 Acquired a range of general laboratory skills (within the remit of the project) and demonstrable ability (e.g. verifiable by the quality of results) to apply these competently.
4 Demonstrated the ability to work safely within the laboratory.
5 Shown some (even if limited) evidence of ability to direct the project.
6 Prepared of a dissertation that is clear, well structured, written in good English and reports scientific findings to a standard expected by standard journals in the field
7 Composed of a review of the important background literature, that is succinct, pertinent to the project.
8 Shown evidence of some critical analysis of the background literature
9 Reported all relevant results obtained in a style that is clear and succinct.
10 Interpreted and critically analysed specific results sensibly (within the Level–M context).
11 Shown ability to combine individual results into an overall pattern, and to make further critical analysis and interpretation of the totality of results.
12 Related the findings to existing knowledge: Use each to evaluate the other.
13 Indicated appreciation of the wider implications of the research.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop the research skills of the students to allow them to become independent researchers.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • regular meetings and discussions with their project supervisor and/or other group members

  • presentation of results at research group meetings

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(YEAR LONG) Year-long 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.