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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Chemistry : Chemistry

Undergraduate Course: MChem Introduction to Research Methods (CHEM10029)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Chemistry CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis full year course aims to provide training in methods used when carrying out chemical research. There are two small group laboratory based projects hosted by research groups. In addition there are two written exercises designed to train students in literature searching and written communication. The course forms part of the Honours curriculum for students on any of the MChem degree programmes in chemistry that do not also include 'with Industrial Experience' or 'with a Year Abroad'.
Course description A practical element of the course consists of 'research methods exercises' which introduce specific practical or computational techniques applied to short research projects. These exercises are carried out in small groups, and development of group-working skills is an important aim of this part of the course. Students are required to produce a group paper at the end of the first project and a group poster at the end of the second project.

The course contains an additional written component in which training is provided in searching, reading and assessing the primary chemical literature. Students are required to produce two review articles, which summarise the main theories, concepts and principles of the area of chemistry covered by each article. The second of these articles will be on the subject of the Research Project to be carried out in the final MChem year.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Chemistry 3A (CHEM09005) AND Chemistry 3B (CHEM09006) AND Chemistry 3P Practical and Transferable Skills (CHEM09007)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking BSc Chemistry Research Project/Transferable Skills Course (CHEM10043) OR Science Education Placement: Chemistry (40 credits) (CHEM10044) OR MChemX Research Project (CHEM11029) OR MChem Research Project (CHEM11040) OR Chemistry 4P (Semester 1) (CHEM10053) OR Chemistry 4P (Semester 2) (CHEM10054) OR Chemical Physics 4P (CHPH10005)
Other requirements Must include a weighted average of Grade C or higher in all Chemistry 3 courses AND a weighted average of Grade D or higher in Chemistry 3A and Chemistry 3B, at the first attempt or with the permission of Head of School.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 133, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 250 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 67 %, Practical Exam 33 %
Feedback Ongoing feedback on laboratory work will be given by project supervisors whilst working on the practical component of the course. Feedback on written work will be provided. Feedback on poster and presentation skills will be provided.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Execute a defined project of research, working as a member of a team.
  2. Assess the safety of chemical research in the research laboratory not only in terms of personal safety but also with respect to the safety of others in the laboratory .
  3. Critically analyse and interpret the results of a research project, drawing and defending a set of conclusions
  4. Present, at a professional level, the results of a research project as a written paper and a poster presentation.
  5. Search the chemical literature on a given topic, and summarise the results of the search in written form to a professional standard.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Become familiar with working as part of a team in a research environment.
2. Practice in communicating science producing a paper and a poster.
3. Effective searching of the chemical literature.
4. Summarising literature in the form of a review.
Additional Class Delivery Information Approximately 400 hours of student practical, and oral, poster, report and literature survey preparation effort, within times assigned.
Course organiserDr Simon Daff
Tel: (0131 6)50 7386
Course secretaryMrs Moira Wilson
Tel: (0131 6)50 4754
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