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Chemistry > Academic literacy

What is the understanding that departments have of Academic Literacies?



Academic Literacy 1: Research

This AL can be seen in the literacy journey that the department wishes its undergraduates to gain research skills

  • Training in use of latest equipment e.g. FTMS

Medical Chemistry (Prospective) webpage: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/chemistry/prospective/undergrad/medchem/

"These programmes reflect Departmental interests ranging from the synthesis of new compounds with clinical potential to the study of DNA/drug interactions using state-of-the-art spectroscopic techniques (e.g. Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry) and molecular modelling."

  • Laboratory skills – 1 module for the first 3 years leading into the 4th year MChem research project.

Students take various modules during their degree which involve laboratory classes, these are listed below, please click on each for more detail:

CH155 Chemistry Laboratory and Assessed Work - Year 1

CH222 Chemistry Laboratory - Year 2

CH3C6 Extended Laboratory Work - Year 3

CH3C4 Laboratory Work - Year 3

Year 3 MChem students have the option of doing a placement which involves a research project either in industry or abroad under the following modules:

CH3C3 MChem Professional Experience Placement Project

CH3C5 MChem Professional Experience Placement Presentation

CH3C8 Industrial Training Placement Project

Year 4 students undertake a research project within a research laboratory under the following modules:

CH401 Research Project and Methodology

CH410 Research Project for MChem Industrial Training

The department appears to have laid this out as the key literacy journey that is taken in the Chemistry department. Students build up laboratory skills from the first year which lead them into research modules in the third or fourth years

  • 3 year BSc course research module (25% of the year) & 4 year MChem course research module (50% of the year)

Chemistry undergraduate prospective page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/chemistry/prospective/undergrad/

"Final year research projects are available to both MChem and BSc students. For BSc students, the option of a project worth a quarter of the year is available, whereas for MChem students, the final year of their degree is dominated by a research project which is worth half of the year. All research projects are chosen by the students who then work alongside the other members of the research group on a project that suits and interests them"

  • Encouraging Chemistry undergraduates to take the 4 year course
MChem Degrees

The MChem degree programme aims to produce graduates able to function as independent, self-motivated researchers.


Academic Literacy 2: Employability/ the ability to engage with practitioners

This AL can be shown through the literacy journey that the department wishes its undergraduates to take which exposes them to the chemical/medical/pharmaceutical industries

  • Intercalated years in industry

Placements (Prospective) webpage: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/chemistry/prospective/undergrad/placements/

"Industrial Placements are a uniquely valuable way of gaining experience of chemistry in a business environment. The research carried out is as interesting and challenging as that encountered in the academic world with the additional benefit that you are a salaried employee of the company for the duration of the placement.

The Department has excellent links with a wide range of companies including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Azko Nobel. Infineum, Johnson Matthey and many more. We do all the groundwork with the companies and publish lists of placement projects for you to choose from. We'll help you identify the type of placement most suited to you and assist with the application and even give you some informal practice in interview technique"

  • Chemistry with Management – the course description stresses the ability to communicate with those both within and outside of the world of Chemistry

Chemistry with Management Prospective page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/chemistry/prospective/undergrad/chemmngt/

"This degree structure is particularly well suited for those students who have already decided on a future career, not as a practising chemist, but in management in the chemical sector. The programme structure is such that students will appreciate the principles underlying Chemistry in all its facets to a high degree of sophistication combined with training in management practice and principles. This, together with the range of transferable skills, will enable graduates from this degree to communicate effectively with fellow scientists and non-scientists."

  • Bold claims about the employability of Chemistry undergraduates

Prospective- Careers webpage: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/chemistry/prospective/undergrad/careers/

"However, it may surprise you that only about half of our graduates go on to a career in chemistry or a related discipline. This doesn't mean that the rest are unemployed. Far from it, unemployment is not an issue for Warwick Chemistry graduates. Rather, the skills you learn on a Chemistry degree equip you for a whole range of other careers in law, finance, sales, management and more."



What do departments define as their department skills?

Skill set 1: Laboratory/ Research skills

Skill set 2: Writing skills

Skill set 3: Presentation skills

Skill set 4: Scientific interdisciplinarity (natural sciences and mathematics only)


Do they define these as generic?

  • Laboratory skills are not defined as generic: specific instrumentation is mentioned

Laboratory modules page (for current undergraduates): http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/chemistry/current/undergrad/laboratory/

  • Research areas are defined as specific to the strengths/ interests of those in the department
  • Presentation and writing skills are not defined in the amount of detail that is given to laboratory/ research skills.
  • We might assume because of the absence of this description that the department sees them as generic


In what formats are these ALs claimed to be developed?

  • Laboratory modules within UG teaching laboratories
  • Presentation (oral) of work within modules
  • Module lectures and seminars
  • URSS (not on the Chemistry website)