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Module FXX-2207:
Techniques in Chemistry

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Lorrie Murphy

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to develop students understanding of key spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques used in organic and inorganic chemistry for structure elucidation and materials characterisation.

Course content

This module is comprised of lectures on physical techniques used in organic and inorganic chemistry.

Prof. B. Paiz (5 h lectures plus 1 h tutorial) Mass spectrometry: theory and instrumentation.

Dr P Murphy (6 h lectures plus 2 x 1h tutorials) A detailed study of proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance, its origins and the analysis of information obtained. In addition infra-red spectroscopy and some basic mass spectrometry are discussed in examples using a combination of techniques in problem solving.

The application of spectroscopic techniques to inorganic chemistry including IR, Raman, PES, EXAFS, ESR, multinuclear NMR (Dr L Murphy (8 h lectures plus 2 x 1h tutorial).

Assessment Criteria


Excellent (>70%). Knowledge base is extensive and extends well beyond the work covered in the programme. Conceptual understanding is outstanding. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved with efficiency and accuracy; problem-solving procedures are adjusted to the nature of the problem.


Threshold (40%). Knowledge and understanding of the content covered in the course is basic; Problems of a routine nature are generally adequately solved; Transferable skills are at a basic level.


Good (~60%). Knowledge base covers all essential aspects of subject matter dealt with in the programme and shows good evidence of enquiry beyond this. Conceptual understanding is good. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved in a logical manner; solutions are generally correct and acceptable. Performance in transferable skills is sound and shows no significant deficiencies.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of a range of spectroscopic/spectrometric techniques - Semester 1: mass spectrometry, proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance and organic infra-red spectroscopy;

  2. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate how information gained from the techniques specified Semester 2 IR, Raman, PES, EXAFS, ESR, and multinuclear NMR) can be useful in structure elucidation/quantification and be able to interpret the spectral/data generated.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Class Test 1 - Semester 1 content 50
Class Test 2 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


see other box

Private study 77

1 x 2h Lectures for Weeks 1-3 followed by 1x 2 h tutorial week 4 (Dr P Murphy)

1 x 2h Lectures for Weeks 1-2, 1x1 h lecture Week 3 followed by 1x 1 h tutorial Week 3 (Prof. B Paiz)

1 x 2h Lectures for Weeks 15-18 followed by 1x 2 h tutorial week 19 (Dr L Murphy)


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • CC4 The ability to recognise and analyse problems and plan strategies for their solution
  • CC8 The ability to adapt and apply methodology to the solution of unfamiliar problems
  • PS2 Skills in the employment of common conventions and standards in scientific writing, data presentation, and referencing literature
  • PS3 Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information
  • SK2 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of fundamental physicochemical principles with the ability to apply that knowledge to the solution of theoretical and practical problems
  • SK3 Gain knowledge of a range of inorganic and organic materials
  • SK5 Demonstrate an understanding of the qualitative and quantitative aspects of chemical metrology and the importance of traceability
  • CC1 the ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts,concepts,principles and theories relating to theSubject areasCovered in theirProgramme
  • CC2 the ability to applysuch knowledge and understanding to thesolution of qualitative and quantitativeProblems that are mostly of a familiar nature


Resource implications for students

SPECIFIC RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDENTS It is expected that students will purchase or have ready access to the essential text books specified in the reading list.

Talis Reading list

Reading list

ESSENTIAL 1. Inorganic Chemistry, C E Housecroft, A G Sharp (Prentice Hall)

Courses including this module