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The University of Southampton

CHEM3012 Chemistry Research Project

Module Overview

The project involves approximately 300 hours of commitment between the beginning of week 1 and the end of the last week before the Easter vacation (the finish date is to be confirmed). This corresponds to a minimum of 150 hours in the laboratory/ research environment and an appropriate amount of private study time for literature research and preparation of the dissertation.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To take the practical skills set developed in the teaching laboratories and develop them in an independent, research orientated environment with a focus on in depth study in a defined area of chemistry.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply previously learned practical skills in the independent research environment;
  • Manage personal study time effectively to balance different needs of project and lecture course studies;
  • To prepare risk assessments, for approval, in advance of any practical work;
  • Maintain a laboratory/ work record to a professional standard;
  • Apply core chemistry knowledge in advanced problem solving;
  • Collate and analyse data from a variety of sources;
  • Identify key elements of the scientific literature that are relevant to the research area;
  • Communicate the project results with clarity, both verbally and in writing, and by using appropriate scientific terminology.


Semester 1 content All students will spend up to 15 hours a week doing laboratory based work throughout the full term of the project. The literature work associated with the project will be carried out throughout the whole project period, as necessary. A 500 word summary of the research topic is due in week 5, for which formative feedback will be given. All students are expected to give a minimum of a 5 minute oral presentation to their research supervisor in week 11 (Formative) and to submit a 3-page journal article style report in week 15 (10% of the marks). Semester 2 content The practical focus of the work continues throughout the early part of the spring term with an expectation that the private study element of the project work is focused on writing the dissertation. Practical work will finish on the last day of the spring term. The dissertation (50% of the marks) will be independently assessed by two independent examiners. Please note the deadline for submission of the dissertation and penalties for late submission will be applied according to the university regulations. Your supervisor will assess your performance on the project (20% of module mark) You will present your work to a panel of academics at the end of your project, and be questioned on your presentation (20% of the module marks).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Self-study with one to one tuition as appropriate, supervised and self-directed laboratory sessions.

Follow-up work72
Project supervision36
Completion of assessment task30
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Supervised time in studio/workshop150
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Kirsty MacDonald. Key Skills for Scientists. 

Howard M. Kanare. Writing the Laboratory Notebook. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative 50%
Interim Report 10%
Panel presentation  (20 minutes) 20%
Supervisor's evaluation 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 30%
Diligence and Initiative 70%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules


To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

CHEM2005Aspects of Organic Synthesis
CHEM2001Organic Reaction Mechanisms
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