*Practical Skill Sets for Undergraduate Chemists

First Year

Second Year

Third Year

Practical

Practical

Practical

  • Identifying & assembling glassware
  • What equipment is e.g. what a Hirsh Funnel looks like
  • What kind of containers to use
  • Location of laboratory apparatus
  • All basic laboratory skills e.g. recrystallisation
  • Making and measuring solutions accurately
  • Instrumentation
  • Using Vernier scales
  • Data-handling and taking observations in a coherent fashion
  • Cleanliness of glassware
  • Basic synthetic skills
  • IR
  • TLC
  • Distillation
  • Dry preparations, reagents-handling
  • Handling BuLi
  • Small scale synthesis/precious metal handling
  • Solid state synthesis
  • Gas handling
  • Vacuum/inert atmosphere techniques
  • Choosing an appropriate technique to address a problem
  • Anticipating results - performing / designing experiments accordingly
  • Prediction of outcomes as part of experiment planning
  • Developing robust experimental protocols
  • Understanding the importance of control experiments
  • Standard manipulations under inert atmosphere including filtration
  • Use of IR to follow a reaction
  • Chromatography and HPLC

 

  • Use of low temperatures
  • Demanding small scale synthesis (10-20mg)
  • Solid state synthesis
  • Gas handling
  • Standard manipulations under inert atmosphere including filtration
  • Advanced vacuum/inert atmosphere techniques
  • Choosing an appropriate technique to address a problem in a complex situation
  • Anticipating results and performing and/or designing experiments accordingly
  • Designing a series of experiments to test a hypothesis
  • Use of IR to follow a reaction

 

Safety

Safety

Safety

  • Following instructions
  • Risk awareness and working in a safe manner
  • Minimising danger to themselves and those around them
  • Basic knowledge of risk assessment - how to minimise risk
  • Being aware of COSHH

 

  • Filling in own COSHH form

Measurements

Measurements

Measurements / Data

  • Following detailed instructions - acceptable experimental data
  • Recording accurate, reproducible data
  • Understanding the importance of testing/calibrating apparatus
  • Keeping accurate, detailed laboratory notebooks
  • Using software to record data
  • Recording accurate, reproducible data
  • Understanding the importance of testing and calibrating apparatus
  • Understanding how Signal to Noise can be improved
  • Keeping accurate, detailed labbooks
  • Using software to record data
  • Diagnosing problems with malfunctioning apparatus
  • Appreciating the strengths and weaknesses associated with “black box” instruments
  • Understanding how Signal to Noise can be improved

Data

Data

Writing

  • Following instructions to analyse data
  • Demonstrate whether a set of data agrees with a given theory
  • Introduction to using spreadsheets to analyse data

 

 

  • Confidence in using spreadsheets to analyse data
  • Demonstrate whether a set of data agrees with a given theory
  • Drawing inferences from data sets
  • Identifying sources of error in a procedure
  • Propagating errors
  • Advanced use of Crossfire/Web of Science
  • Chemical Abstracts Keeping accurate, detailed lab-books

Writing

Writing

Transferable Skills

  • Presenting data in tabulated and graphical format
  • Writing figure legends
  • Report writing
  • Presenting detailed reports
  • Use of Crossfire/Web of Science
  • Use of Chemical Abstracts
  • Use of Aldrich Catalogue
  • Writing an abstract
  • Giving complete and appropriate references
  • Presenting detailed reports for short experiments/ extended projects
  • Presenting experimental results orally
  • Preparing a research poster
  • Participating in group exercises
  • Teamwork

 

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