Postgraduate taught 

Chemistry MSc

Research Skills CHEM5050

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Chemistry
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course involves gaining familiarity and expertise in specialised research techniques in the chemical sciences appropriate to the prospective research project. This course provides students with an opportunity to develop laboratory practice, scientific writing and presentation skills by undertaking a series of short laboratory sessions followed by a research project in their chosen area of chemistry.


84 hours of practical classes

6 hours of seminars




1) Continuous assessment from the students writing up formal records of the set practical exercises reports (70%). The Report assessment will comprise contributions from the project supervisor/assessor(s) relating to aspects such as their engagement with the project, organisational ability, their report and experimental results.

2) Assessment of research development portfolio (20%)

3) Assessment of project presentation (10%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessment is not normally allowed for any assessed components of coursework as the work is not replicable.

Course Aims

The overall aim is to provide chemical education and training for students entering into the project part of the MSc programme. The course consists of practicals in advanced inorganic, organic and physical chemistry and an research project in a chosen area of chemistry, delivering training in transferable skills such as abstracting, writing reports, poster presentations and computing skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Execute a defined project of research within an approved area of chemistry, working effectively under guidance and in ways which show a clear awareness of own and others' responsibilities and demonstrate skills of personal safety, and the safety of others, in a research environment.

2. Use computers for the handling of quantitative experimental data (collection, analysis, processing and presentation) for a range of molecular modelling techniques.

3. Show competence in a range of technical skills (experimental and other) related to practical chemistry, and deliver accurate output of data and/or critical analysis commensurate with the length and level of the project and demonstrate some originality and creativity in offering interpretations of, and solutions to, problems and issues arising in the research.

4. Use literature searching methods, including the use of databases, and critically evaluate and interpret research literature in areas related to the project.

5. Write a detailed research report suitable for use by peers that demonstrates an understanding of the role of research undertaken and critical analysis of the data required.

6. Prepare an academic poster presentation and effectively communicate, to a range of audiences, the outcomes of the chemistry research.  

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.