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The University of Southampton

CHEM6139 Masters of Chemistry 1 year placement

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in depth knowledge of the theoretical background and literature precedent related to your project area;
  • Carry out the practical element of the project work with a high degree of independence and with regular self-evaluation of performance leading to the development of personal objectives and strategies of how to meet them;
  • To collect, organise and analyse data and to identify the level of reliability of the results obtained;
  • To propose future work which is clearly justified by the results of the project work.
  • Understand the purpose of the work being undertaken and to appreciate the commercial and/ or intellectual motivation of taking on the work;
  • Adapt to working in a new professional/ academic environment;
  • Communicate your scientific knowledge using appropriate terminology to those with expertise in your area;
  • Verbally propose solutions and strategies for problems identified during the project and to be able to discuss these with colleagues, both at the collaborating organisation and with academic advisors in Southampton;
  • Apply knowledge and experience in the use of databases and other paper and electronic resources to interrogate the scientific literature;
  • In writing, analyse and evaluate the work carried out and the prior art on which it is based to a standard that could form the basis of a scientific publication;
  • Evaluate the risks associated with practical work and to identify control measures to keep them to an acceptable minimum;
  • Apply past experiences in the laboratory environment to new and unseen practical situations with an appreciation of the fitness for purpose of each activity in the successful achievement of the project objectives;


Introductory lectures providing information and background about finding a placement opportunity. One-to-one support on request whilst finding a placement. Academic support from the School of Chemistry to augment the support and training programmes provided. Each student locates a placement opportunity with the assistance of the MChem placement co-ordinator. The placement involves an individual laboratory based project in a specialist area of chemistry for a period of one year during Part (Year) 3 of the degree. At the host organisation he/she is a full member of the project team. There is joint supervision by a member of the host institution and a member of the Southampton Chemistry: the latter will visit the student during the placement and be on hand for the provision of remote advice and support as is necessary. The placement provides many opportunities for the core knowledge and key skills developed in Parts (Years) 1 and 2 to be applied in the ‘real world’. The placement will combine the opportunity to reinforce the basic knowledge acquired previously with the opportunity to learn about the host organisation’s specialist area. The student will become aware of the multidisciplinary nature of science in the industrial context and will be better able to understand the contribution that chemistry makes to the economy and society as a whole. Opportunities to produce reports and make presentations in front of a professional audience during their placement will prepare them for the preparation of a thesis, an viva voce and a presentation on their placement work.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Advance placement training in CV and interview skills (workshop format) and workshop to develop professional skills, including risk assessment); Individual support and tutoring from the MChem placement team; Full time supervision during the placement by the host organisation

Independent Study80
Total study time900


Assessment Strategy

Successful completion of a minimum 30 weeks on placement (full time, not including annual leave) is compulsory but does not contribute to the final grade. Students that fail to complete the required length of time on placement cannot refer or repeat the placement module and will be required to change their degree programme.


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative 50%
Oral presentation  (20 minutes) 10%
Supervisor's evaluation 25%
Viva 15%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 25%
Diligence and Initiative 75%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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