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NES3401 : Professional Development and Employability Skills for Chemists

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Lee Higham
  • Lecturer: Dr Andrew Pike, Mrs Julia Robinson
  • Other Staff: Mr Sam Bachkheti
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of the module is to provide a substantial networking opportunity between students, alumni and industry of relevance to the chemical sciences.

Students will develop team-working skills using challenges posed by companies. Following collaborative working the students will learn how to pitch a solution for those challenges to the companies, thereby increasing their awareness of how to apply chemical knowledge gained in modules to real world applications. Students will also be challenged to come up with solutions to problems outside of their immediate subject area in order to develop attributes which map on to the university's Graduate Framework.

To raise the level of digital and information literacy to that expected of a chemistry graduate.

Outline Of Syllabus

Connected Chemistry - Advanced LinkedIn. Students will learn about the platform which is
primarily used for professional networking and career development.
Professional Awareness Event
Students will attend an in-person professional awareness event where they will network
with Alumni and then follow up on tasks via LinkedIn.

Industrial Case Studies
Students will be given a real issue faced by an external organisation which will involve
working within a team, to develop, plan and present a business solution to that company.

Developing Digital and Literacy Information Skills
Students will attend workshops to consolidate their expertise with the core databases and
their skills in finding, evaluating and managing information, preparing them for their final
year projects, further research or industry beyond University.
Workshop: Demonstrating your digital and information literacy skills
Workshop: SciFinder
Workshop: Reaxys

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Professionalism - LinkedIn (ARP - In Person)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture14:004:00Industry Question Time
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture16:006:00Final presentation event with industry
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Introduction to module and case studies (LJH In Person)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Preparation and completion of presentation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading152:0030:00Research into companies, employer issues and relevance to the discussions within the case studies
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Library workshops (JR - In Person)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Meet the companies session (LJH - In Person)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops15:005:00Professional Awareness Event (ARP - In Person)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery15:005:00Drop-in afternoon for feedback on initial response to the challenge and presentation (LJH)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:0022:00Independent study and background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will use a variety of teaching methods. Workshops based within the Robinson Library developing digital and literacy skills.

Lectures and workshops introducing the module and the relevant companies who will be taking part in the Case Study section of the module, engaging students in communication, networking and team working.

Lecture showcasing the platform which is primarily used for professional networking and career development.

An afternoon professional awareness event for networking with Alumni from relevant companies, giving students the opportunity to gain experience in communication and engagement.

The team presentation will develop skills such as resilience, using your initiative, confidence building; all which are key skills to highlight to an employer.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation101M4010 min oral team presentation on a company challenge
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster1M50To prepare an informative slide on the company challenge
Prof skill assessmnt1M10Professional Awareness Skills Task (assessed P/F)
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmntMAttendance and participation in the in person Professional Awareness Event
Prof skill assessmntMAttendance for all Library workshops
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1MFeedback on draft slide and presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Oral Presentation - Each student will present a slide as part of a team who will deliver a 10 min oral team presentation on the companies’ challenges.

Poster - Students will be asked to prepare their own individual slide based on their allocated company and its challenge.

Attendance and participation in the in-person Professional Awareness Event and completion of the skills networking task.

Reading Lists