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MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Practical Chemistry

Unit code CHEM22600
Credit rating 30
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Department of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  

Development of core competency in practical chemistry, laboratory safety procedures including CRA and risk assessment and analytical/transferable skills necessary for working as a scientist. This second year laboratory class takes place on Tuesdays (6 hours) and Wednesdays (2 hours). Semester 1 will run as an online laboratory course: 11 weeks, 9 experiments, 2 report writing weeks. It is hoped that semester 2 will take place within the teaching laboratory: 12 weeks 10 experiments, 2 report writing weeks.


A broadening and reinforcing of core practical skills, utilising the skills and techniques developed in the first year laboratories. This includes multi-step synthesis, anhydrous and inert techniques, spectroscopic and analytical methods, computational calculation of molecular properties, rational design of experiments, independent research and safety assessment.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Connect theory and practice to find appropriate methods, to collect data and make choices about the appropriate manipulation of that data.
  • Undertake independent safety assessments of experiments, and carry out practical work efficiently and professionally.
  • Interprete and manipulate analytical data from multiple sources and using it to draw conclusions.
  • Critically analyse outcomes, perform research and contextualise findings, and report results to a high technical standard.



Transferable skills and personal qualities

Anhydrous and inert techniques, multi-step synthesis, more advanced spectroscopic methods, rational design of experiments, data analysis, independent research, safety assessment, good lab practice, time management and organisation, oral communication, literature searching, report writing.


Assessment methods

Attendance at lab sessions is compulsory. Students are expected to attend all lab sessions.

There is a minimum pass mark of 40% for the practical unit, and this cannot be compensated or retaken for the second year assessment.

Full assessment rubrics for experiments and reports are available on Blackboard. The 19 Experiments (86%) are assessed via a variety of means including online pre-lab tests, lab book preparation and use, good lab practice & professional conduct, technique & data, and conclusions & critical analysis. The assessment varies dependent on the nature of the experiment. All five reports are marked and feedback is provided, with the final three reports (14%) contributing to the total lab mark.



Feedback methods

Semester 1: Weekly feedback via an automated pre-lab quiz, weekly formative feedback during synchronous sessions, weekly written feedback for post-lab submissions, and written feedback for report submissions.

Semester 2: Weekly feedback via an automated pre-lab quiz, weekly formative feedback for face-to-face laboratory work and some post-lab submitted work, and written feedback for report submissions.



Recommended reading

See Lab Manual/Blackboard for each experiment.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 160
Independent study hours
Independent study 140

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Richard Henchman Unit coordinator
Nathan Owston Unit coordinator

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