Module code: CHEM047

Module Overview

This module is the pinnacle of the learning journey for MSc students and is intended to allow MSc 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. Students will engage with leading research topics in the scientific area relevant to their discipline. Therefore, this module will promote deeper learning and develop their ability to conduct independent research i.e. define the depth of their knowledge. The work must be of MSc standard and requires a critical appraisal of the work and literature.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

ANTONIJEVIC Milan (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: 491

Lecture Hours: 9

Laboratory Hours: 70

Guided Learning: 20

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Students will be provided with the list of available project supervisors and associated projects. Projects will be assigned based on the selection process. Students will have the opportunity to suggest their preferences for project supervisor and research topic.


Students will carry out their research projects working under a member of the academic staff as a supervisor and will carry out a programme of research over two semesters, culminating in producing a dissertation including a critical evaluation of the relevant literature as well as your results.


All students will engage with the necessary topics such as:

  • Health and Safety

  • GMP, GLP, GCP (Good Manufacturing, Laboratory and Clinical Practice)

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Equality Act 2010, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

  • Professionalism, research (including research methods)

  • Critical appraisal: audit and learning from errors, analysis of evidence, evaluation of the literature.

  • Problem-solving: study skills, team-working skills, integrating knowledge from multiple sources, working with incomplete information

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Personal and Professional Skills 20
Practical based assessment Supervisor skills assessment 20
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Dissertation 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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:

  • Coursework - personal and professional skills document evaluating students’ ability to take ownership of personal and professional development and identify areas for improvement to meet the immediate and long-term goals (addresses learning outcomes: 1, 2 and 5)

  • Practical-based assessment - laboratory skills will be evaluated by a supervisor who will comment on students’ ability to conduct the experimental work in a safe manner, obtain good quality results and drive experimental design and adjustments based on established aims and preliminary experimental results (addresses learning outcomes: 1, 3 and 5)

  • Project dissertation - written project dissertation (addresses learning outcomes: 2, 3 and 4)         

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.


Formative assessment:

There will be an opportunity to submit parts of the final dissertation namely the introduction, materials and methods and results and discussion chapters so that students can get the necessary feedback earlier on as they start writing their dissertation and also to provide evidence to a supervisor that students are progressing towards the final project report (dissertation). Finally, students will have the opportunity to submit the interim report which will consist of the above-mentioned chapters (parts) in addition to the conclusion and future work. Students will revive feedback on the writing style and completeness of the document.



There will be ample opportunities to receive feedback and act upon it. Supervisors will lay expectations for students at the beginning of the module by providing them with the essential feedforward (lessons learnt) based on their previous experience working with project students. Students will receive oral feedback during the supervisory laboratory sessions as well as during regular meetings with the supervisor. Constructive written suggestions/feedback will be received on all formative assignments which will streamline student’s efforts and improve their final outcomes.  

Module aims

  • ¿ Develop the necessary practical and research skills appropriate to the modern pharmaceutical science graduate so that the successful student can act autonomously in planning, implementing and critically evaluating outcomes in a professional setting.
  • ¿ Equip students with a systematic understanding of due diligence in research.
  • ¿ Create skills vital for the communication of the experimental outputs in a scientific and industry-defined manner.
  • ¿ Promote personal and professional planning and development of desired skills.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate self-organisational ability and plan experiments methodically. CPT
002 Take personal responsibility for continuous professional compliance with regulatory requirements, e.g. risk assessment and standard operating procedures. KP
003 Demonstrate clear, autonomous, scientific ability to conduct research and development in academic and industrial environments. CPT
004 Systematically and comprehensively evaluate experimental outputs and presents them in a concise, scientific, and informative manner. ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ KCPT
005 Take ownership of skills development, both in terms of research skills and professional profile. K

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:


  • Give the student sufficient subject knowledge and practical and transferable skills to cope with a research project and later professional life.

  • Equip students with the ability to critically think and evaluate the outputs of the research via constant discussions with more senior researchers and the supervisor.

  • Promote the desire to expand the boundaries of knowledge and explore the areas of science beyond them.


The learning and teaching methods include:


Spring semester – preparation, research and skills phase

The project will start in the spring semester with preparation and literature review where students will be engaged with defining the research question and identifying necessary resources. This will be done in the discussion between the student and supervisor.  The outcome will be a framework which defines how the work is to be divided into background research, laboratory work and report writing, building on the transferable skills learned throughout the programme of study.


Summer semester – laboratory, analysis and reporting phase

During the summer semester, students will work on the experimental part of the project. 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 an MSc 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 dissertation on SurreyLearn along with a template for the dissertation.


Students also can submit an introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion chapter and an interim report (draft version of the document). These are formative and are the only opportunity to gain feedback on 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.

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: CHEM047

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework 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 area:


Employability: This module allows students to develop their understanding of the latest topics within pharmaceutical sciences. Students will be exposed to and will have in their possession the latest and best available information relating to their subject area, a proportion of which will have been obtained by engaging in the current research strategies which promote in-depth knowledge acquisition. This will hold clear benefits in relation to their employability as they progress to their employment or the year in the industry. Transferable skills will be addressed as the module allows students to further practice wider attributes that will be attractive to employers in this field. The focus of the assessment strategy will help to prepare students for the realities of the world of work as it allows them to be familiar with work ethics, time management, and reporting as well as conducting independent research and being able to present the outcomes of the work to a wider audience.


Global and Cultural: Students will be exposed to the important aspects of globalization through the use of international research outputs to inform the latest knowledge and also appreciate cultural differences among the leading research groups within the university and diverse student body. Furthermore, this module exposes students to many examples from different countries related to the life, production, and distribution of pharmaceutical products. 


Sustainability: Students will develop their appreciation, understanding and critical thinking focused on the use of green solvents, novel analytical tools that shorten the time of the analysis and energy input minimization when conducting the analytical assessment. Efforts will be made to exercise sustainability skills when defining the aims of the project and selecting appropriate paths and technological applications with a particular focus on environmentally friendly inputs and outputs.


Digital skills: The module concentrates on practical laboratory skills so will enhance the digital capabilities of the students as they will need to record, analyse, and plot data using the software and techniques learned in the data handling module. The dissertation will provide the opportunity to deliver a fully formatted report, applying transferrable skills in digital production.


Resourcefulness and Resilience: 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.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Pharmaceutical Sciences MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Pharmaceutical Sciences with Industrial Practice MSc(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 2024/5 academic year.