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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

This course will give students opportunities to develop technical and professional skills necessary for success in Honours level Chemistry/Physics and beyond. The course will include working with scientific literature, computer programming and the use of software tools in research and activities to enhance employability. Students will develop an appreciation of the power of state of the art computer programs to assist the user to understand complex data sets. Students will also become more confident in communicating and assessing scientific ideas.

By considering their own skills development, students will feel more able to identify and compete for exciting graduate employment opportunities.


Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Mark M. Law
  • Dr Geoffrey M. Dunn

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Chemistry (CM)
  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Lectures, workshops, directed reading and self-study projects will introduce a range of computer software important in modern physical sciences research and afford opportunities to develop technical skills in using these programmes and in computer programming. The classes and other activities will also explain issues relevant to reporting, citing and critical assessment of scientific results. Finally, the course will include topics to enhance employability.

Content will include:

  • Hands-on experience with specialised software for data processing and visualisation (two of MatLab, Excel, Mathematica, Discovery Studio Visualiser, electronic structure calculation)
  • Problem solving using a high-level programming language (one of Python, Fortan, MatLab ...)
  • Scientific literature searching and critical appraisal
  • Writing and presentation skills
  • Employability training, including one-to-one discussion with a Careers Adviser and assessing and presenting personal skills set and graduate attributes.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

Programming project - 25%

Data analysis project report- 25% 

Scientific literature library assignment - 25%

CV and covering letter - 10%

Reflective skills journal - 15% 

Alternative Resit Assessment

Students resit failed components only.


Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionEvaluateBy considering their own skills development and practising describingthose skills and other relevant personal qualities to others, studentswill feel more able to identify and compete for exciting gr
FactualUnderstandStudents will develop an appreciation of the power of state of the artcomputer programs to assist the user to understand complex data setsand their interpretation in science.
ConceptualAnalyseStudents will also become more confident in communicating andassessing scientific ideas - in particular developing competences inusing the scientific literature, project planning and presentingresu
FactualUnderstandStudents will develop enhanced competences in:Computer programming;Using computer software to visualise, analyse and interpret data;Using the scientific literature;Project planning;Discussion and

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