Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Chemistry


Type Open Level 1 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • A-level or equivalent in Chemistry AND Mathematics.


  • Core Chemistry 1 (CHEM1078)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop the basic manipulative, procedural and soft skills required for practical chemistry, building on pre-university study;
  • To provide a foundation in research-led practical chemistry for single honours, natural sciences, and others students;
  • To contribute towards the requirements of RSC accreditation.


  • 20 activities, including synthetic, measurement, procedural and analytical aspects of practical chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the chemical principles illustrated by the practical work carried out.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of manipulative, procedural and soft skills required for practical chemistry
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Demonstrate basic skills in planning and executing practical problems in Chemistry
  • Perform safely basic experimental procedures such as titrations, synthesis, purification, crystallisation and analysis of organic and inorganic compounds
  • Use chemical apparatus correctly with care and confidence
  • Use volumetric glassware and balances in the correct manner and obtain accurate and precise results
  • Make careful observations of chemical reactions and explain them qualitatively including with balanced chemical reactions
  • Determine physical properties experimentally
  • Interpret basic spectroscopic data (NMR, IR, Mass spectrometry)
Key Skills:
  • Work effectively alone or collaboratively to solve practical chemical problems;
  • Apply IT skills to laboratory reports and data analysis.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Pre-laboratory exercises activity to ensure that students have a clear understanding of the chemical concepts and practical procedures they will be following, prior to attending the laboratory.
  • Practical activities, both in-lab and out of the lab, teach students to carry out, and understand, techniques in various aspects of practical chemistry. Students are provided with ongoing verbal feedback during activities
  • Post-lab assignments prepare students for written communication of practical findings. Report writing demonstrates a student's ability to analyse their data and present in a consistent and coherent format, consistent with standard chemistry reporting methods. Reports are summatively assessed and returned with feedback.
  • Safety training is provided throughout the course during the laboratory sessions.
  • Spectroscopy workshops allow students to practice the interpretation of spectra and determination of structure.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Practicals 20 1 per week 3 Hours 60
Preparation and Reading 40
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Post-Lab Assignments Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Post-Lab Assignments 100% Two-hour practical examination

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment occurs continuously by means of automated feedback for pre-lab activities, verbal and written feedback in practical activity sessions, and via written feedback on assessed work.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University