Module FXX-4706:
MSc Lab Work & Research Paper

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

60 Credits or 30 ECTS Credits

Semester 3

Organiser: Dr Hongyun Tai

Overall aims and purpose

This module allows students to undertake an individual research project, and write an research paper on their experimental results.

Course content

  1. Students will undertake an individual analytical research project under supervision, building on the Literature Review and Research Proposal produced in Sem 2.
  2. Students will apply and practice the knowledge, laboratory, analytical and spectroscopic skills learned in Sem 1 and Sem 2 in this individual research project.
  3. Student will produce a research paper using RSC Journal format to report their findings.

Assessment Criteria


Knowledge base covers all essential aspects of subject matter dealt with in the assignment; conceptual understanding is acceptable. Experimental work is carried out in a reliable manner, with an appreciation of data analysis shown in the write-up. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved and solutions are acceptable. Performance in transferable skills is sound.


Knowledge base is extensive and extends well beyond the work covered in the assignment; conceptual understanding is outstanding. Experimental work is exemplary and shows a thorough analysis and appraisal of experimental results, with appropriate suggestions for improvement. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved with efficiency and accuracy; problem-solving procedures are adjusted to the nature of the problem. Performance in transferable skills is generally very good.


Knowledge base covers all essential aspects of subject matter dealt with in the assignment and shows good evidence of enquiry beyond this. Conceptual understanding is good. Experimental work is carried out in a reliable and efficient manner, with a good appreciation of data analysis shown in write-ups. 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. Produce a research paper using RSC journal format to report their research findings.

  2. The students will be able to evaluate all chemical and procedural risks towards the successful completion of all required COSHH and risk assessment.

  3. Demonstrate competence in planning, design, execution and problem solving relating to experiments using advanced analytical laboratory techniques.

  4. Conduct an individual research project under supervision by applying and adapting knowledge and skills learned in Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Analytical techniques, and generic research scientific skills from other modules in MSc Program.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
REPORT Part 1Research Paper 80

Teaching and Learning Strategy


One 2-hour workshop on how to write and publish a research paper


Meeting project supervisor for discussions and guidance on the research project.

Individual Project

laboratory work

Private study

Reading and writing paper


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • 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
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • 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.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Subject specific skills

  • CC8 The ability to adapt and apply methodology to the solution of unfamiliar problems
  • CC9 The ability to assimilate, evaluate and present research results objectively
  • CC10 Skills required to undertake a research project reporting outcomes that are potentially publishable (in a peer-reviewed publication)
  • CP1 An ability to determine hazards associated with carrying out chemical experiments in terms of chemical toxicity, chemical stability and chemical reactivity and be able to find information to enable effective risk assessments to be carried out
  • CP2 Skills to handle chemicals safely and carry out experiments and chemical reactions in asafe manner, based on effective risk assessments
  • CP8 The ability to select appropriate techniques and procedures
  • CP10 Skills required to work independently and be self-critical in the evaluation of risks, experimental procedures and outcomes
  • CP11 The ability to use an understanding of the uncertainty of experimental data to inform the planning of future work
  • PS6 Information technology skills which support the location, management, processing, analysis and presentation of scientific information
  • PS12 The ability to communicate and interact with professionals from other subjects
  • PS13 The ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
  • PS14 Independent learning skills required for continuing professional development
  • PS15 The ability to think critically in the context of data analysis and experimental design
  • SK1 Are fully conversant with major aspects of chemical terminology
  • SK10. Development of project-specific experimental skills.
  • SK11. Reading and engaging with scientific literature.
  • SK12. Planning, including evaluation of hazards and environmental effects.
  • SK13. Making oral presentations and writing reports, including critical evaluation.
  • SK14. Attending and participating in discussions with other researchers (for example, colloquia)
  • SK15. Implementation of planned experiments.
  • SK16. Recording of data and their critical analysis.
  • SK17. Production of a dissertation reporting outcomes that are potentially publishable (in a peer-reviewed publication).
  • SK18. Advanced studies in areas of specialism, such as the use ofpeer-reviewed scientific literature.
  • SK19. Complementarystudies outside, butcognate to, area ofspecialism.
  • SK20. Development of generalstrategies including the identification of additional information required andproblems where there is not a uniquesolution.
  • SK21. Application of advancedstudies to thesolution ofproblems.


Reading list

Tina Overton, Stuart Johnson and Jon Scott, Study and Communication Skills for the Chemical Sciences, Oxford university press,

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: