CHEM 4070B - Honours Chemistry Project (Two-Year) Final

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

Students will undertake a research project under the supervision of an academic in the discipline of chemistry that will provide advanced knowledge and skills for professional or highly skilled work and/or further learning. The intention is that students will collect and present novel scientific data of a quality that could be published in the open literature  however, students will not be penalised if their research project does not produce conclusive results.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM 4070B
    Course Honours Chemistry Project (Two-Year) Final
    Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 15
    Contact By supervision
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Incompatible CHEM 4000A/B, CHEM, 4005A/B, CHEM 4030A/B
    Restrictions Available only to students admitted to the relevant Honours program
    Assessment Thesis, seminar and oral examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Hugh Harris

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 able to apply hands-on experience of the research principles and methods in chemistry;
    2 demonstrate an understanding of the close relationship between scientific research and the development of new knowledge in a global context;
    3 demonstrate that current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further enquiry;
    4 apply the concepts and theories of a range of advanced topics in chemistry to research in a particular area;
    5 analyse critically, evaluate and transform research findings to complete a range of activities;
    6 present information, articulate arguments and conclusions, in a variety of modes, to audiences in their field of research;
    7 comply with regulatory frameworks (including OH&S) and practising professional ethics relevant to the chemistry field;
    8 undertake independent supervised research in a chemistry field and demonstrate autonomy, well-developed judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner or learner
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The Honours chemistry project involves placement in the laboratory of a member of the Chemistry academic staff (cross disciplinary projects involving chemistry academics and others outside chemistry may be approved at the discretion of the Chemistry Honours coordinator who will consult with the discipline). Students will be allocated to a particular research group by the Honours coordinator according to the preference of the student and the availability of supervisors. Undergraduate performance may be taken into account during the allocation process where the availability of a particular supervisor is limited.

    Each student will devise a single research project in chemistry, in consultation with their allocated supervisor, that will allow them to develop their research skills in a particular area beyond the level achieved in a chemistry major degree. The placements will be full-time in one laboratory between the start of April and the end of October, and each student will be mentored by their supervisor as well as other members of that research group.

    Students will develop their informal written and oral scientific communication skills through meetings with their supervisor and participation in research group meetings, and formal communication skills will be developed by presentation of a research seminar and production of a research project report (thesis).

    Each student will be allocated a “second reader” by the Honours coordinator; this will be a member of the chemistry academic staff who does not work directly in the same field of research, who will help the student to develop the ability to communicate their research outcomes to a broader audience.

    Students will receive informal feedback regarding scientific writing from their supervisors as they draft their thesis. A formal requirement for the submission of an interim report at the start of June, covering the background and motivation for each research project, will be enforced. Both the supervisor and the second reader will provide feedback on the interim report.
    Attendance at Discipline research seminars will allow students to place their research projects in a wider context in the field and develop perspective about the importance of their work.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students undertaking an Honours research project in chemistry should expect to spend, on average, 40 hours per week on the studies required. This includes time at the bench, reading and literature surveys, research group meetings, preparation of seminar and thesis, as well as attendance at the Chemistry discipline seminar program. Students should note that significant variations in day-to-day workload requirements will occur depending on the nature of the research project.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Students will undertake an independent research project under the supervision and guidance of a member of the academic staff in the Discipline of Chemistry. This will develop the research capabilities of the student to the point where they would be considered suitable for entry into a PhD program at an Australian or international University.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Students will be required to attend all Chemistry and special research seminars as defined by the Honours coordinator (1-2 hr/wk). Students are also required to attend a library resources training session as well as equipment specific training sessions where relevant to their research project as identified by their project supervisor (e.g. NMR training).
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Interim report Formative

    0% 1-4,6
    Research report (thesis) Summative 70% 1-8
    Oral examination Summative 20% 1-8
    Research seminar Summative 10% 1-8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Item with Hurdle % needed or requirement to meet hurdle Is additional assessment available if student does not meet hurdle requirement? Yes or No Details of additional assessment, if available
    Interim report Pass


    Assessment Detail
    Interim report (formative)

    An interim report will consist of a concise introduction to, and a summary of, the proposed research project. It should be no longer than 8 pages long, word-processed and conform to the regulations for thesis preparation. While the interim report is not summative, it is a compulsory part of the Honours project. Students who fail to submit the report may be dismissed from the course.

    Thesis (70%)

    The Honours report will be assessed on the basis of the quality of the scientific communication and understanding of relevant chemical concepts demonstrated therein, and on the level of scientific competence displayed by the student. Students will not be marked down if their project does not meet its original scientific aims. The project must be limited to 50 pages.

    Four readers, including the student’s supervisor and the second reader of the Interim Report, will carry out assessment of the Honours Report. The four readers will mark the thesis independently, and their marks will be averaged to give the final assessment.

    Oral Examination (20%)

    This examination will consist of SEEN and UNSEEN questions. Students will be allowed 30 minutes to consider answers to a list of SEEN questions. After this time has elapsed, the opportunity to give oral answers to the examination panel (same as thesis readers) will be provided. The panel will then pose further questions from a list of UNSEEN questions such that the total time for the oral examination is 50 minutes.

    Seminar (10%)

    Each student is required to present a seminar of 30 minutes (including time to answer questions). The purpose of this seminar is to inform the Discipline about the background and progress in Honours research projects, and to educate the student in the public presentation of research material. The seminars will be assessed by all academics attending the seminar. Factors to be judged include the structure of the seminar, understanding of the work and results presented therein, its clarity and delivery and treatment of any questions asked at the end of the seminar.
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that a thesis that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
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