The University of Southampton

CHEM6132 Practical Skills for Chemistry MSc

Module Overview

This module comprises a practical course designed to extend the practical skills developed by the student prior to commencing the taught MSc programme through the completion of a series of advanced/open ended min-projects which will enable students to develop and demonstrate their ability to conduct an independent investigation.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

(1) To allow students to apply previously learned practical skills in a more open ended context. (2) To develop students abilities to manage their own learning. (3) To apply core chemistry knowledge in advanced problem solving. (4) To develop students abilities to present their work in written format.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communicate the results of an open ended investigation with clarity, both verbally and in writing, using appropriate scientific terminology.
  • Manage personal study time effectively to balance the different needs of practical and other course work.
  • Prepare risk assessments, for approval, in advance of any practical work.
  • Maintain a record of practical work to a professional standard.
  • Collate and analyse data from a variety of sources.
  • Work effectively as a member of a team as required.
  • Work independently towards achieving well defined objectives.
  • Identify key elements of the scientific literature that are relevant to a research area.


Advanced practical skills (Minimum of 72 hours of laboratory time) - Completion of a series of laboratory and/or computational based experiments either independently or in groups. - Submission of reports in a variety of formats, which may include formal written reports, posters, and oral presentations. - The topics covered by the practical sessions will vary from year-to-year, but may include: Chemical biology, Chemical simulations, Computational chemistry, Electrochemisry, Mass spectrometry, Materials chemistry, NMR, Organometallic chemistry, Supramolecular chemistry, Synthetic organic chemistry, X-ray crystallography

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and Learning Methods Practical sessions Workshops and short lectures will be used to present key knowledge, concepts and a general framework of for the conduct of independent practical work.

Practical classes and workshops72
Follow-up work40
Preparation for scheduled sessions36
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

A.R. Leach and V.J. Gillet (2003). An Introduction to Cheminformatics. 

J. Gasteiger and T. Engel (2003). Cheminformatics. 

Kirsty MacDonald. Key Skills for Scientists. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Laboratory notebooks 20%
Practical write-ups 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Laboratory notebooks 20%
Practical write-ups 80%
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