MSc Chemistry

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Research and Communication Skills

Unit code CHEM61000
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by University Language Centre
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 21/22 and may be subject to change due to any additonal Covid 19 impact.

Areas covered will include: scientific essay and report writing skills; presentation skills; academic style and conventions; structure and organisation of material; grammar and punctuation; referring to sources; paraphrase and summary; avoiding academic malpractice; using the library, including its electronic resources; literature surveying via SciFinder.




The unit aims:
  • To equip students with effective research and communication skills in Chemistry;
  • To develop students’ essay writing and presentation skills;
  • To provide training which will enable students to carry out the final research project;
  • To familiarise students with the use of specialist chemical databases for literature searching such as SciFinder
  • To establish a specialist understanding of the area in which the research component of the MSc is to be undertaken via relevant literature searching and to report the findings in an extended piece of writing.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Conduct and report on research in chemistry, using appropriate databases and software;
  • Write effective, well-organised scientific essays and reports;
  • Deliver effective, well-organised academic presentations;
  • Use the style and conventions of academic scientific writing and speaking;
  • Use the referencing conventions of the Royal Society of Chemistry;
  • Paraphrase and summarise from academic sources, and understand how to avoid plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice;
  • Use the English language accurately and effectively in a scientific context;
  • Become familiar with research already carried out in their intended project area.


Transferable skills and personal qualities

Literature searching; abstraction of significant information; analysis of data; essay and report writing; critical reflection; independent learning; pair and team working; giving effective academic presentations; IT skills related to literature searching and scientific writing and presentations; time management and organisational skills (ability to work independently and to work efficiently and effectively).


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 40%
Report 40%
Oral assessment/presentation 20%

Feedback methods

Workshops, seminars, feedback on drafted material.


Recommended reading

Bottomley, J (2014) Academic Writing for International Students of Science. Abingdon: Routledge.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 26
Independent study hours
Independent study 124

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robert Dryfe Unit coordinator
Robert Marks Unit coordinator

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