Module Catalogue 2022/23

CHY1510 : Chemical Laboratory Skills 1

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The aims of this module is to show students how the fundamental principles of scientific inquiry serve to advance knowledge. Students will learn to evaluate data and report results, and will be introduced to the most fundamental techniques of chemical analysis. Students will be trained in the appropriate handling of scientific data.

Students will be taught basic aspects of safe laboratory practice and the ability to use safety information sources. The module will facilitate students to develop manipulative skills with items of laboratory apparatus that are commonly-encountered in the professional workplace, and provide a “hands-on”, contextualised, tangible perspective on chemical concepts taught elsewhere in the curriculum.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module trains chemical laboratory skills that are important in the chemical industry and in many other sectors of employment. The key skills taught span the sub-disciplines of physical, organic, inorganic and medicinal chemistry. The module provides a tangible, “hands-on” contextualisation of topics encountered elsewhere in Newcastle chemistry degrees. Skills and techniques taught within this module provide a foundation for the more advanced techniques encountered in subsequent Stages.

Students learn how the fundamental principles of scientific inquiry serve to advance knowledge. They learn to evaluate hypotheses and report on observations. Students develop strong familiarity with apparatus including flasks, pipettes, balances and burettes. They become familiar with common analytical techniques (spectroscopy, chromatography, melting point) and their advantages and limitations.

The syllabus includes;
• laboratory and safety awareness
• introduction to techniques of chemical separation, purification and synthesis
• introduction to techniques of chemical analysis (melting point, chromatography,
titration, gravimetric analysis)
• basic interpretation of infrared, UV-Visible and fluorescence spectra
• introduction to calorimetry, electrochemistry and spectroscopy.
• introduction to fundamental principles of calibration and data handling.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module it is expected students will be able to

• Identify the principles of scientific inquiry: Knowledge of how experimentation and testing,
observations and analysis allow the testing of hypotheses. Knowledge of good practice in the
reporting of observations and results.
• Identify good practice in basic techniques commonly encountered in the context of professional
chemistry. For example, these include titration, distillation, separation, re-crystallisation,
calibration and the preparation of mixed solutions.
• Advantages and limitations of common techniques of analytical chemistry including UV-Vis
spectroscopy, column and thin layer chromatography, melting point apparatus.
• Understand and be able to use and act on safety information sources such as safety manuals,
chemical hazard pictograms, safety signage and COSSH risk assessment data.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Key skills, able to:
• plan and organise course and laboratory work effectively.
• observe, summarise and report the results of laboratory experiments.
• collaborate effectively to complete practical tasks and investigations.

Subject specific or professional skills, able to:
• read and comprehend safety information provided in COSHH forms, CLP pictograms,
university manuals and local rules; work safely in response to guidance provided.
• apply basic practical skills for the synthesis, purification and identification
of organic compound.
• manipulate and properly use laboratory apparatus that is commonly used in professional
contexts. For example, flasks, pipettes, balances, burettes and instruments employed
in chemical analysis.
• interpret the results of synthetic experiments through chemical analysis (eg infrared
spectroscopy, NMR)
• take accurate and appropriate notes while performing laboratory experiments
• explain the limitations of experimental methods
• perform calculations to enable chemical syntheses and interpret data from laboratory
experiments; particularly calculations of chemical yield.
• design simple chemical syntheses

Cognitive or intellectual skills, able to:
• develop models and hypotheses based on experimental observations
• Solve problems in chemical analysis from information provided as analytical data.
• Solve problems of synthesis and mechanism

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00Post-lab work: Students analyse data obtained in the lab and complete relevant tests on Canvas
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion42:008:00Final reports or online tests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00Module induction and induction lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical156:0090:00Organic, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry: 2 x 3h practical session every week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical53:0015:00General Chemistry: 1 x 3h practical session every week
Guided Independent StudySkills practice202:0040:00Lab preparation: Students watch videoclips of techniques on CANVAS and complete relevant tests
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:0022:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Practical Labs provide the students with an opportunity to gain practice in basic chemical manipulations.

Practical sessions are designed to introduce students to key concepts and allow them the opportunity to develop expertise in a range of fundamental scientific skills, including using scientific literature, and collecting, interpreting and presenting scientific information.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M25General Chemistry lab report: Single online assessment after 1st block of lab work
Practical/lab report1M25Organic Chemistry lab report: Single online assessment after 2nd block of laboratory work
Practical/lab report2M25Inorganic Chemistry lab report: Single online assessment after 3rd block of laboratory work
Practical/lab report2M25Physical Chemistry lab report: Single online assessment after 4th block of laboratory work
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Practical/lab reportMPractical Skills Record: Skills assessment of laboratory
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The practical reports will assess the students’ ability to plan and carry out experimental work within the laboratory setting, and accurately record, analyse and report scientific data. In producing the report, students will need to demonstrate their use of taught practical skills, and appropriate reporting and interpretation of data.

The skills associated with recording scientific data are assessed by a mark for the notebook, which is kept during each laboratory. The outcomes of individual experiments are assessed by short templated submission and/or online methods - these tasks may be completed in laboratory hours.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.