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MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Chemists' Toolkit

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHEM10520
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


There are three main components: (i) spectroscopy and analytical chemistry; (ii) mathematics for chemists; (iii) transferable skills.

The material will be explored through a mixture of blended asynchronous and synchronous lecture/workshop sessions, example classes, briefing sessions from JRULM Library staff and Career Services, essay-writing and feedback,  group poster design and poster presentation. It is also extensively linked into the CHEM10101 and practical labs programmes.

[NB. For students with A-level maths (or equivalent) the mathematics workshop component is optional but the online exams are not.]



The unit aims to:

Develop and extend a number of key skills used widely by practicing chemists, including spectroscopy, analytical chemistry and mathematics, as well as transferrable skills including searching for information, writing scientific reports and presenting posters, and career-awareness skills including writing CVs.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should be able to: 
•    apply basic mathematical skills to chemical problems in thermodynamics, kinetics, quantum mechanics, spectroscopy and error analysis
•    identify a range of small molecules from their molecular and mass spectra using a rational approach
•    state the basic principles of analytical chemistry and solve simple analytical chemistry problems
•    perform research tasks using literature resources and present their findings in written and oral forms to their peer group


Transferable skills and personal qualities

The following transferable skills will be developed or used:

•    Qualitative (searching and analysing scientific data) and quantitative (maths) problem solving skills.
•    Written (essay, poster) and oral (tutorial presentation) communication skills.
•    Various numeracy and mathematical skills.
•    Investigative skills (literature searching and critical analysis of databases and journals).
•    Analytical skills (interpretation and application of data).
•    ICT skills for scientific use (word processing, Chemdraw, Excel).
•    Time management and organisational skills (demonstrated through independent study hours and group posters).
•    Interpersonal skills (team work for posters).
•    CV writing and career awareness skills
•    Ethical behaviour (good academic practice, and awareness of plagiarism).


Employability skills

Workshop on career awareness skills including CV writing skills

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 20%
Written assignment (inc essay) 15%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%
Practical skills assessment 50%

Feedback methods

  • Majority of course is taught in a combined blended lecture/workshop form where students can attempt the exercises and receive immediate feedback.
    •    The academics delivering the material are also available to see students and provide feedback on any particular aspects of the course as requested
    •    For the maths components, weekly example classes (workshops) with Q&A sessions allowing student problems to be solved on an individual basis.
    •    For maths components there are extensive online quizzes, where before each marked test students can take a practice test, with the same type of questions; for practice quizzes students can check their answers and obtain immediate feedback on individual questions.

Recommended reading

  • S. K. Scott, 'Beginning Mathematics for Chemistry', OUP, 1995.
  • J. Keeler, P Wothers, ‘Chemical Struture and Reactivity’, OUP, 2014
  • D C. Harris, C A. Lucy, ‘Quantitative Chemical Analysis’ 2016, OUP
  • P.Hore ‘Nuclear Magnetic Resonance ’ 2015, OUP
  • A. Northedge, A. Lane, A. Peasgood, J. Thomas, 'The Sciences Good Study Guide', Open University, 1997.
  • T. Overton, S. Johnson, J. Scott, 'Study & Communication Skills for the Chemical Sciences', OUP, 2011.
  • M. Cockett, G. Doggett ‘Maths for Chemists’ 2003 or 2012, RSC (also available as eBook).
  • B. R. Johnson and S. K. Scott, 'Beginning Calculations in Physical Chemistry', OUP, 1997.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment practical exam 8
Demonstration 2
Lectures 16
Practical classes & workshops 16
Independent study hours
Independent study 158

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alexander Golovanov Unit coordinator
Andrew Horn Unit coordinator
Andrew Pitt Unit coordinator

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