Advanced Topics in Natural Sciences Chemistry II

Module titleAdvanced Topics in Natural Sciences Chemistry II
Module codeNSCM007
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Nicola King (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module provides you with small-group teaching across a selection of advanced topics in Natural Sciences Chemistry, reflecting the research interests of the staff involved. The syllabus consists of six short courses, each taught as a self-contained set of eight lectures (or the workshop/tutorial equivalent). You should choose three of these courses, enabling you to tailor the module to your specific interests and your intended future career.

In order to take this module you must ensure that you have completed NSC1003 Foundations In Natural Science, plus any other prerequisite modules specific to each short course, these being listed within the Syllabus Plan below.

This is an optional module for final-year students of MSci Natural Sciences.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Our aim in providing this module is to give you the flexibility to tailor your studies in to your particular interests and career goals. In three self-contained courses of eight hours each, you will work with research-level material, combining your study and communication skills with your core knowledge to understand complex systems and solve challenging problems.

The skills you gain from lectures and other teaching formats will develop or enhance your employability. Transferable skills to other sectors include:

  • problem solving (linking theory to practice, responding to novel and unfamiliar problems, data handling),
  • time management (managing time effectively individually and within a group), and
  • self and peer review (taking responsibility for own learning, using feedback from multiple sources).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically evaluate and analyse the module content within the context of wider reading and also material from earlier years, to develop an overarching view of the interconnectedness of the subject and its interdisciplinary nature
  • 2. Recognise and exploit any connections between taught materials and project material
  • 3. Engage in targeted research and reading for personal development and future educational requirements, in addition to reading material primarily for assessment purposes

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. With reference to primary literature, evaluate how research developments in your chosen topics drive the subject forward and, where appropriate, the social, technological and commercial impacts this has
  • 5. Analyse in detail essential facts and theory in advanced areas of chemistry
  • 6. Analyse and evaluate independently a range of research-informed literature in Natural Sciences Chemistry and synthesise research-informed examples from the literature into written work
  • 7. With limited guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis and enquiry used in your chosen topics at the research level

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Communicate effectively arguments, evidence and conclusions using written means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 9. Devise and sustain, with little guidance, a logical and reasoned argument with sound, convincing conclusions
  • 10. Analyse and evaluate appropriate data with very limited guidance

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Each of the following topics is a self-contained short course lasting eight hours, with its own specific syllabus available in separate documentation on the associated ELE page for this module. You should select three short courses from the list provided. A sample list of topics is included below but these are subject to change or be added to. There will be a minimum student number required for a given short course to run. Module pre-requisites are listed. There are no module co-requisites.

  • Cloud Droplet Formation
    • Pre-requisite: NSC1003 Foundations in Natural Science
  • Physics and Chemistry of Planetary Atmospheres
    • Pre-requisite: NSC1003 Foundations in Natural Science
  • Spin Chemistry
    • Pre-requisites: NSC1003 Foundations in Natural Science, and NSC2002 Physical Chemistry or PHY2022 Quantum Mechanics I
  • Plasmonics for Advanced Sensing Applications
    • Pre-requisite: NSC1003 Foundations in Natural Science

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching24Lectures and workshops or tutorials (24 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study126Independent study


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Non-assessed problem and summary materials provided for self-checking purposesOngoingAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination (problem and essay-based questions)1002 hoursAllWritten


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination (problem and essay-based questions)Examination (problem and essay-based questions)AllAugust Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to sit a further examination. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • An indicative reading list will be specified at the start of each short course.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Variable syllabus, chemical literature, chemistry

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Pre-requisite modules are specific to each short course and are listed within the Syllabus Plan above

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date