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NES1401 : Chemical Skills and Professionalism

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrew Pike
  • Lecturer: Mr Ryan Woodward, Dr Hanno Kossen
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to enhance student employability by developing key attributes and allowing students to see the link between the skills they develop for their employability and those for successful career planning and management.

This module will cover employability skills; including, but not limited to, computer skills (including ChemDraw and Microsoft Excel), communication, team working, project management and resilience. Students get the opportunity to enhance their employability, with a focus upon both soft, transferable skills and enterprise skills, with students identifying their skills gaps and developing strategies to enhance the skills needed by employers.

Students will also develop skills behind experimental design required within the laboratory; and introduce students to the importance to comply with safety instructions.

Potential Breakdown: progression through the stages of the degree programme

1) Digital and information literacy - use of scientific software packages of relevance to graduate
level jobs, for instance Scifinder and ChemDraw.

2) Health and Safety - awareness/consciousness covering small scale laboratory experiments,
record keeping and PPE hazards

3) Professionalism - ability to deliver professional reports. Awareness of chemistry in action in
industry. Global challenges

Outline Of Syllabus

1) Digital and Information Literacy I

Students are introduced to the Graduate Framework and to the Library’s digital and information literacies development outline so they can self-assess their current skills and start planning for their progression and career development.
Workshop 1: ChemDraw
Workshop 2: Chemical Databases

2) Health and Safety I

Experimental Design
In stage 1, students should start to develop an appreciation for the reason behind experimental design that is presented to them in the laboratory work. To do this, they will be able to assign different steps in a reaction to the different stages of experimental design. This draws on the session(s) on finding experimental procedures in the scientific literature.

Safety I / COSHH
Introduction to the importance to comply with safety in the laboratory and what this means. Students will appreciate the standard mechanisms for assessing risks, especially chemical safety, e.g. they will recognise the GHS labels on chemical bottles so that laboratory work can be carried out in stage 1.
PPE workwear, reporting incidents, and safety apps on campus.

3) Professionalism I

Students will learn the principles of effective professional communication including writing emails and using online platforms and social media to engage in professional dialogue. Aspects of how to communicate in a professional setting to a member of academic staff will be covered. Students will get guidance on how to present data and concepts in the format of a poster. Aspects of how to work in a team will be included, related to the preparation of assessment. Students are introduced to the framework of attributes for graduate in order to start planning their career development plan.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:002:00Formative assessment - Canvas quiz
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Online Vlog preparation, recording and delivery
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Office hour drop in sessions
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Poster preparation and peer comments
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00PiP lectures. Online lectures in case no PiP due to social distancing regulations.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading201:0020:00Online - module lecturer will give students relevant reading for module topics throughout the semest
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops41:004:00PiP or Online workshops in case no PiP due to social distancing regulations.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study112:0012:00Background reading and lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction by the module team
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will use a variety of teaching methods. Lectures will provide the basis for enhancing employability and developing career management skills. Practical Sessions will allow students to experiment and practise with the software and communicate with others.

Poster session and group viva - These sessions give students the confidence of public speaking at an early stage whilst also being able to include vital skills such as team work, communication and confidence building.

For students enrolled on the Industrial Training and Study Abroad programmes this will give an early opportunity to acquire the skills needed to be successful on those programmes.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj1M100A project comprising a reflective vlog (2 min) and infographic (single powerpoint slide)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MPost-lecture Canvas quiz
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Poster - Students will design an individual poster. The content will be an assigned functional molecule where they will have to search the literature for the synthetic and analysis, as presented by drawing schemes in ChemDraw. Students will upload a single infographic poster about the molecule assigned to them which will be assessed by staff.

Reflective vlog - to record a reflective vlog to include aspects of Chemistry literature assigned by the module team.

Formative assessment to provide opportunity for students to assess their progress.

** Students studying from abroad may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. These students should contact the school to discuss this **

Reading Lists