Module code: CHE1040

Module Overview

This module introduces key skills in:

  • Mathematics: for the manipulation of physical laws underpinning Chemistry

  • Statistics: for analysis and significance testing of hypotheses and analytical data in Chemistry

  • Computing skills: for the basics of molecular modelling and presentation of chemical information in a standard format

These skills are essential for your understanding of concepts later in the degree program, as well as in the handling of chemical data particularly in the laboratory aspects of all future CHE modules.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

WATSON David (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 10

Independent Learning Hours: 80

Lecture Hours: 23

Tutorial Hours: 4

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Popular software applications, document processing, spreadsheets and databases, chemical examples

  • Use of CHEMDRAW including curly’ arrows, microanalysis, MS calculations, activation curves, orbitals, etc. 2D to 3D, and application of simple molecular mechanics computational software in Chemistry.

  • Statistics and data handling – mean (A and Gm), median, mode, standard deviation, relative standard deviation, probability, confidence intervals, normal distributions, histograms, population data and hypothesis testing (Q, F and T tests).

You will be sorted into one of two mathematics groups based on your background in mathematics education. Your group assignment will be reflected in your academic transcript. Indicative content for each of the two groups (and the associated examination) is shown below:

  • Mathematics Group A (Fundamental): Numbers, scientific notation and significant figures; aspects of algebra: simplification, rearranging equations, factorising; graphs: pictorial representation of functions, straight lines, plotting non-linear functions; powers, exponentials and logarithms: non-linear functions; simple matrix algebra involving addition, subtraction and multiplication of matrices. The matrix inverse and determinants. Use of matrix algebra in solving sets of linear equations; simple trigonometry, the sine and cosine rule, application to molecular geometry; introduction to vectors and vector operations. Introduction to differentiation; maxima and minima; chain, product and quotient rules; introduction to integration; indefinite and definite integrals.

  • Mathematics Group B (Advanced): Non-linear equations and their methods of solution; interpolation of 1st and higher order functions using difference formulae; understand the nature of matrices and simple matrix algebra and use matrices and determinants in solving sets of linear simultaneous equations using a range of methods pathological systems; application to sets of non-linear equations; vector algebra addition and subtraction of vectors, scalar (dot) product and vector (cross) product vector derivatives; introduction to complex numbers; Maclaurin and Taylor series expansions. Advanced differentiation and integration the chain, product and quotient rules; partial differentiation and polar coordinates; first- and second-order differential equations.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2hr CLOSED BOOK EXAM 55

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate statistical, computing, and mathematical skills as appropriate for your level of study in Chemistry. Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • ChemDraw coursework: presentation of chemical information (LO2) (23%)

  • Computational Chemistry coursework: use of molecular mechanics software (LO1) (22%)

  • Examination: Closed-book exam (2 hrs). Covers the statistical skills content and the mathematics content appropriate to your assigned group (reflected in your academic transcript) (LO3-7) (55%)

Formative assessment and feedback are provided throughout the course through the following mechanisms, and supports all the stated learning outcomes above:

  • Tutorial sessions: feedback will be given to you by the tutor based on your answers to the assigned problems in your preparation before the session (LO3-7).

  • In-lecture problems: opportunities for feedback are created through your engagement with and response to in-lecture questions/problems posed by the lecturer (LO3-7).

  • Self-test resources in SurreyLearn: automated feedback is provided on self-tests based on content covered in the lectures (LO3-7).

  • Formative ChemDraw coursework: completed after the hands-on workshops, after which you will receive formal written feedback (LO2)

Other opportunities for feedback include:

  • 1:1 feedback on exam papers by appointment with the module coordinator

  • 1:1 feedback on formative and summative coursework by appointment with the module coordinator

Module aims

  • Improve your awareness of quantitative methods of analysis, including mathematical and statistical calculations applied to chemistry.
  • Develop an understanding of the various computational methods that are available to help solve numerical problems in chemistry, as well as present chemical information in a standard format.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the various computational methods that are available to help solve a range of numerical problems in Chemistry PT
002 Be able to present chemical information in a professional manner using dedicated Chemistry software KCPT
003 Apply appropriate statistical methods and tests to problems in Chemistry KCPT
004 Understand and apply differentiation and integration for elementary functions and other relevant to Chemistry KC
005 Understand and use matrices in simple calculations and linear algebra KC
006 Evaluate (total or partial) differentials and integrals of a range of functions KC
007 Understand the use of polynomial series relevant to Chemistry KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  1. Give you sufficient numerical skills to complete the degree programme’s work, particularly in the laboratory and research project,

  2. Develop your competency in presentation of chemical information suitable for a formal report,

  3. Enable you to conduct simple calculations using appropriate software in molecular mechanics,

  4. Develop your statistical skills to enable you to prepare descriptive statistics and carry out appropriate hypothesis testing using experimental data.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures in mathematics & statistics: a mixture of presentation from a lecturer, with built-in problems and questions based on the material. You will be invited to contribute solutions or comments on the problems and receive feedback.

  • Tutorial sessions: you will be assigned in advance a question set ranging from simple calculations to application of the lecture content to more advanced problem solving. You should complete these to the best of your ability before the session, in which the tutor will give feedback on your solutions and guide the group to successful solution of the problems.

  • Hands-on computing workshops: enhance your digital capabilities through an active approach to learning use of ChemDraw and molecular mechanics software.

  • Self-study material including self-tests is provided for you on SurreyLearn, which supports the lecture material.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: CHE1040

Other information

Within the University’s broader education strategy, this module particularly develops students’ Digital Capabilities. Students will likely for the first time use dedicated Chemistry software to present and synthesise new information. This includes the ChemDraw software which is used to present chemical information in a professional manner as well as predict chemical properties; this software forms the basis of your reporting practice across other modules and for graduate chemists. Through an introduction to computational chemistry software package(s), students begin their first steps in computational chemistry, a growing field relevant to both academia and industrial practice in the 21st century, enhancing your Employability and preparing you for further computational study in your degree programme.  

The requirement of some significant amount of self-study in the first semester of the programme, particularly in the mathematics section also helps develop students’ your Resourcefulness & Resilience. You’ll be required to engage in self-study to identify your areas for development in maths, or expansion if you are studying the Advanced pathway (effort that is recognised through your academic transcript). 

This module supports learning across all programmes in Chemistry. Particular relevance can be found in the following modules (modes of support highlighted in brackets): 

  • CHE1044, CHE2035 (statistical skills) 

  • CHE1041, CHE1042, CHE2041, CHE2042 (presentation of chemical information) 

  • CHE1043, CHE2043 (mathematics)  

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Medicinal Chemistry MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2024/5 academic year.