Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Chemistry


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Core Chemistry 2 (CHEM2012) AND Introduction to Materials Chemistry (CHEM1127)


  • Core Chemistry 3 (CHEM3012) OR Bioactive Chemistry 3 (CHEM3211) OR Chemical Physics 3 (CHEM3411)

Excluded Combination of Modules


  • To apply chemical principles to the design and evaluation of materials with technological potential.


  • Inorganic materials and characterisation: structural properties; electronic materials.
  • Organic materials.
  • Electronic structure of solids: theory and applications.
  • Structural characterisation of Solids.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • appreciate and describe structural features of non-stoichiometric compounds, interstitial compounds, intercalates, high temperature superconductors and zeolites; relating these structures to specific chemical, electrical, optical and magnetic properties;
  • use crystallographic concepts to describe and interpret crystal structures and to appreciate and use the fundamentals of diffraction theory;
  • describe and evaluate the synthetic methods used in the construction of organic conductive materials and apply this knowledge to the design of new conductive polymers with responsive behaviour;
  • describe the functional groups required in a molecule to obtain specific opto-electrical properties and explain the requirements for speciality polymers;
  • describe the electronic structure of solids in terms of band theory and use this theory to explain the electrical properties of insulators, semiconductors and metals; explain the origin of electronic, magnetic, optical and thermal properties of solids;
  • explain the application of various techniques for probing solids and polymers; identify characterisation techniques for elucidating structure at different length-scales; interpret and combine data from different techniques; describe hierarchical structures in solids and polymers;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • perform simple calculations related to the structures and properties of the types of materials discussed.
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate enhanced problem-solving and confidence when interpreting experimental data, based on feedback provided verbally, in workshops and in feedback lectures.

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

  • Lectures are used to convey concepts, demonstrate what is required to be learned and the application of the theory to practical examples. When appropriate, lectures will be supported by written material, or by information and relevant links on Blackboard Learn Ultra.
  • Private study should be used by students to develop their subject-specific knowledge and self-motivation, through reading textbooks and literature.
  • Workshops are groups of students where problems are considered and common difficulties shared. This ensures that students have understood the work and can apply it to real life situations. These are formatively assessed.
  • Students will be able to obtain further help in their studies by approaching their lecturers, either after lectures or at other mutually convenient times.
  • Student performance will be summatively assessed through examinations. Examinations test students' ability to work under pressure under timed conditions, to prepare for examinations and direct their own programme of revision and learning, and develop key time management skills. The examination will provide the means for students to demonstrate the acquisition of subject knowledge and the development of their problem-solving skills.
  • At the start and end of Epiphany Term, each student will be given a formative self-assessed problem-solving assignment evaluating experimental or theoretical data about a substance or system of interest. This develops problem solving skills. Each assignment has a feedback lecture.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 33 ave 3 per week 1 Hour 33
Workshops 5 ave 2 per Term 1.5 Hour 7.5
Assignment feedback 2 1 per Term 1 hour 2
Preparation, reading and problem-solving assignments 157.5
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 3 hour 100%

Formative Assessment:

Problem solving assignments (self-assessed with feedback lectures); set work in preparation for workshops.

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