Teaching is a mixture of lectures, tutorials, exams, lab reports, essays, oral presentations, poster design and problem based learning. A typical week might include nine hours of lectures, seven hours of lab work, and two or three workshops or tutorials. You will also be expected to spend several hours each week on private study which might include answering problem sheets, preparing for tutorials or writing up lab reports.
All of our courses are linked to Blackboard – a virtual learning environment that gives you access to lecture notes, self-test exercises, supplementary information and background literature about the course.
We place a strong emphasis on small group tutorials, in which half a dozen students meet with a member of staff to discuss questions arising from the lectures. Often you will go over a set of problems handed out a few days earlier. Tutorials are also an ideal opportunity to discuss any aspects of the course that you don’t fully understand.
Chemistry is, of course, a very practical subject, so strong emphasis is placed on the acquisition of laboratory skills. In Years 1 and 2 you will spend about four to six hours each week in the lab. In your third year, work on your research project will increase your lab time to about 10-12 hours per week.
You are assessed on your performance through exams at the end of the semester or at the end of the year and through continuous assessment throughout your modules.
NB. All lab work is continually assessed - there are no practical exams.
You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they are academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.
When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.
Typical workload hours for Department of Chemistry courses in 2016/17:
Year 1: 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, learning and assessment: 360 hours
Independent learning: 840 hours
Year 2: 31% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, learning and assessment: 372 hours
Independent learning: 828 hours
Optional year abroad: If you're spending a year abroad, your contact hours will vary depending on the institution you're studying at.
Final year: 26% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
Teaching, learning and assessment: 312 hours
Independent learning: 888 hours
While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.
Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:
- study and exam skills
- academic writing
- numerical data skills
- referencing sources
Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.