MCHEM RESEARCH PROJECT - 2023/4
Module code: CHEM029
This module is the culmination of the learning journey for MChem students and is intended to allow final year MChem students to put all their knowledge learned so far to use in an extended practical project. Students work in the research groups of one of the academic staff and carry out independent research leading to the production of a dissertation defended by an oral examination. The work must be of MChem standard and requires critical appraisal of the work and literature. It is not enough to just do the project.
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
HOWLIN Brendan (Chst Chm Eng)
Number of Credits: 60
ECTS Credits: 30
Framework: FHEQ Level 7
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Independent Learning Hours: 520
Guided Learning: 80
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
During the summer break students will be asked to nominate three project areas in an order of preference. Projects will be assigned sympathetically, based on student choice, degree programme and available staff.
Only exceptionally will projects be undertaken in collaboration with industry, and only then if the project is unrelated to a previous professional training placement. In such circumstances, prior agreement must be made so that the Department can have access to the science (for purposes of student monitoring and assessment). The Department will ensure commercial confidentiality. ny intellectual property must be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties before work is commenced.
|Unit of assessment
|Oral exam or presentation
|Practical based assessment
The assessment strategy is designed to allow students to demonstrate:
Subject knowledge, practical and Transferable skills
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
Written dissertation, 60% (meets learning outcomes 1,2,3,4,5)
Oral presentation, 30% (meets learning outcome 6)
Supervisor assessment 10% (meets learning outcomes 1,2,3)
Why are we doing this?
The assessment strategy is designed to allow students to develop and test their knowledge and their skills in a manner that not only enhances their understanding of the topic, but also allows them to situate it within the wider context of the subject area, thereby contributing to the coherency of their learning journey. The assessments therefore contain valuable employability components and test a range of transferable skills. The project-based approach contributes to the development of students as independent learners by empowering them to self-evaluate, and reflect on, their own performance. Other elements of the assessment strategy allow students to test their performance in ‘real-life’ scenarios in the laboratory and produce substantiative documentation in the case of the written dissertation. and in the case of the literature review, to critically engage with the latest academic knowledge in relation to the subject area. All aspects of the assessment strategy allow students to receive feedback from expert staff.
There will be an opportunity to submit an interim report after the Christmas break.
Individual feedback will be given on the interim report and on a day-to-day basis on their laboratory performance
- To provide experience in information retrieval relevant to an area of research at the forefront of chemistry.
- To acquire specific practical research skills relevant to the MChem programme.
- To develop a capacity for independent investigation and critical evaluation of literature.
- To further develop written presentation skill.
- To develop skills in explaining and defending research work in an oral examination
|Interpret and critique the relevance of scientific literature
|Have a comprehensive understanding of the information obtained and use it to plan scientific investigation
|Analyse and carry out detailed risk assessments (to comply with the COSHH regulations) prior to carrying out new chemical procedures
|Analyse and interpret research data and evaluate critically their significance
|Produce a coherent written report which conveys clearly the original research results to others
|Explain and defend research ideas in an oral examination. Have critical awareness of current problems and an increased capacity for independent research in a specific programme area.
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Methods of Teaching / Learning
“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/organized separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules as soon as they are finalized by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Give the student sufficient subject knowledge and practical and transferable skills to cope with a research project and later professional life
The learning and teaching methods include:
The project will run over two semesters, and the student is expected to spend a minimum of three days each week working on the project. The student and supervisor(s) will discuss how the work is to be divided into background research, laboratory work and report writing building on the transferable skills learned throughout the course in the data handling module and the transferable skills modules in level 4 and 5. Students will be expected to liaise regularly with their supervisor(s) as this is a level 7 project, so we expect an elevated level of resourcefulness and resilience and them to always follow good laboratory practice. For a MChem project we are looking for the ability to critically assess their work and the best way to do this is to discuss their results regularly with the supervisor who can point out errors and misunderstandings. Likewise significant literature research is required which also must be critically appraised. Again, regular communication with the supervisor is required.
There are detailed instructions on how to draft the thesis on Surreylearn along with a template for the dissertation. All MChem students will already have written one thesis on their industrial research year and should have obtained feedback from staff on this.
Students also can submit an interim report after the Xmas break. This is formative and is the only opportunity to gain feedback on your writing as supervisors will mark the final dissertation. Again, full instructions are on surreylearn.
¿Students are required to carry out detailed risk assessments (to comply with the COSHH regulations) for all new chemical procedures. These assessments are to be checked/validated by supervisor(s) prior to any associated practical work.
There is often the opportunity to practice the oral presentation by giving talks about the work to the supervisor's research group. Again, MChem students will have practiced this in the transferable skills modules in level 4 and 5 and in the industrial research year oral presentations at the start of level 7.
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.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: CHEM029
The School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:
The module concentrates on practical laboratory skills so will enhance the Digital capabilities of the students as they will need to record, analyze, and plot data using the software and techniques learned in the data handling module. The need to solve problems in the practical laboratory will increase the Resourcefulness and resilience of the students as there will be many situations where it does not work immediately and the student will have to keep trying until there is success, both of the skills above are particularly attractive to employers hence enhancing the Employability of the students. Employers use success in a research project as a criterion in evaluating future potential as a researcher.
Additionally, the project raises awareness of research as a viable career for women students and thereby enhances the Global and cultural pillar as well as employability.
Programmes this module appears in
|Chemistry MChem(YEAR LONG)
|A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
|Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem(YEAR LONG)
|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 2023/4 academic year.