Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Chemistry


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to F100
Tied to CFG0


  • Core Chemistry 2 (CHEM2012).


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

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide a research-led capstone module in Chemistry, where BSc students in their final year can demonstrate the development of their own research and independent study skills, and expertise in chemistry through a literature survey.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to collect, read and analyse data from primary sources
  • To enable students to develop the transferable skills of critical analysis, advanced literacy and presentation


  • Dissertation on a individual title chosen by, or allocated to, the student in week 26 of Year 2 from a list of titles offers by a member of the Board of Studies in Chemistry.
  • Progress is monitored by the Dissertation Supervisor through a series of tutorials in Level 3
  • Oral Presentation

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • describe and critically analyse the topic of their dissertation at an advanced level
Subject-specific Skills:
  • produce a scholarly and critical review of the relevant literature
  • show relevance and depth in their study of a topic
  • produce a critical summary of their review
Key Skills:
  • enhanced skills in chemical information retrieval, scientific writing, editing and proof-reading, oral presentation and discussion of scientific results;
  • self-motivation, in self-guided learning.

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

  • At the end of level 2 students will be given guidance in literature survey methods, writing long documents and drawing chemical structures. They will meet with their dissertation supervisor to establish the bounds of the topic, and will provide a dissertation outline before the end of year 2.
  • During year 3 students will meet with their dissertation supervisor, as needed, to discuss the student's progress.
  • A draft chapter must be submitted during Michaelmas term
  • Training will be given at the end of level 2 in oral presentation skills.
  • Assessment is by the written dissertation and a 15 minute oral presentation

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 6 Terms 1 & 2 Typically 30 minutes 3
Preparation and Reading 197
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written report 10,000 words 80%
Oral presentation 15 minutes 20%

Formative Assessment:

Formative feedback on a two page outline of the dissertation consisting of section headings in week 28 of Year 2 Further feedback on a draft of a chapter in Michaelmas Term of Year 3. Formative feedback on the oral presentation will be given.

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