Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Chemistry


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to FGC0


  • Chemical Physics 3 (CHEM3411), Molecules and their Interactions (CHEM3137), AND Computational Chemical Physics (CHEM3151).


Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Core Chemistry 4 (CHEM4311) AND Advanced Research Concepts in Chemistry (CHEM4481).


  • To build on material taught at level three and provide students with an advanced overview of more specialised areas of chemical physics and chemistry at the interface with physics.


  • E - Recent developments and applications of solid-state NMR spectroscopy
  • R - Advanced Molecular Spectroscopy
  • S - Molecular Reaction Dynamics
  • T - Macromolecular Physical Chemistry
  • U - Medicinal Chemistry II - From hit to pill
  • V - Cold and Ultracold Molecules
  • W - Optical Microscopy and Imaging
  • [*Each student will follow six lecture courses. The choice will depend on modules taken at level-3 and student choice.]

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • After attending the relevant lecture courses, students should be able to:
  • E1 - Appreciate the role of solid-state NMR spectroscopy in the characterisation of solids and the information that can be extracted/obtained;
  • E2 - Identify and explain the main interactions in solid-state NMR and their effect on NMR spectra;
  • R1 - Explain how energy flows between degrees of freedom of a molecule;
  • R2 - Understand the role of spectroscopy in determining structure, excited state properties and dynamics;
  • S1 - Explain how differential cross sections are related to rate constants and how they can be measured;
  • S2 - Deduce the qualitative outcome of a reaction from the key features of the potential energy surface and vice versa;
  • S3 - Calculate and explain how reaction exothermicity is proportioned amongst the internal states of reaction product;
  • T1 - Understand the relationship between polymer structure, dynamics and material properties;
  • T2 - Understand how interactions between polymers affect their phase behaviour in blends;
  • U1 - Understand the process of developing a successful "hit" from drug discovery into a final product;
  • U2 - Understand the importance of solid-state forms and their characterisation for drug pharmacokinetics and patenting;
  • V1 - Understand what is meant by the terms cold and ultracold and how the behaviour of molecules in these regimes of temperature differs from behaviour at higher temperatures;
  • V2 - Describe the various experimental techniques employed to produce cold and ultracold molecules and know the current state of the art in experiment and theory;
  • V3 - Appreciate the many applications of cold and ultracold molecules to contemporary problems in modern chemistry and physics;
  • W1: understand the underlying physical principles behind optical microscopy and fundamental knowledge of key microscope components and their function and design progression;
  • W2: Describe fluorescence microscopy and it’s application, including fluorescent dyes and their desired biocompatibility and physical properties; describe excitation sources and basic laser applications and important safety aspects;
  • W3: Understand the confocal principle, including the achievable axial and lateral resolution with both single and multiphoton excitation and its application in life sciences;
  • W4: Explain basic image acquisition and important cell culture techniques to compliment optical microscopy in life sciences, mounting techniques and application to real life applications.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

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

      • Facts and new concepts are introduced in the lecture courses.
      • Students' knowledge and understanding is tested by examination.
      • Undergraduates are aided in the learning process by workshops where they attempt sample problems.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 36 3 per Week 1 Hour 36
      Workshops 6 1 Hours 6
      Preparation and Reading 158
      Total 200

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      examination 1 2 hours 50%
      examination 2 2 hours 50%

      Formative Assessment:

      Workshop problems.

      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