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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 10/01/2023 12:34:46

Title of Module: Physical Chemistry 3

Code: CHEM09003 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Jorge  Chacon

Summary of Module

The lecture course will cover major aspects of Physical Chemistry – thermodynamics, kinetics, spectroscopy. Thermodynamics will be investigated both from a “first principles” investigations of scientific laws and of the nature of matter, and from the viewpoint of applications to practical and technologically important systems: from an atomic / molecular approach to deductions from macroscopic observations. Applications to ideal and real systems will be considered. Reaction kinetics will consider simple collision theory, transition state theory, elementary gas phase reactions, the steady state approximation and chain reactions. There will a particular emphasis on the application of theory, on numerical problem solving and on experimental measurement.

Quantum Mechanics provides the theoretical foundation upon which a full understanding of the structures and properties of substances must be based. This module attempts to establish, as straightforwardly as possible, some of the basic concepts and calculations which are required to demonstrate such an understanding.

The theories and principles covered in this course underpin many aspects of chemical science, from fundamental understanding and advanced research through to industrial production, and are therefore important in their own right to a very wide range of interests. In addition, these studies promote scientific rigour, together with skills in data handling and investigation.

The Graduate Attributes relevant to this module are listed below:

Academic: Critical thinker:  analytical, inquiring, knowledgeable, digital and numerical literate, problem solver, autonomous, incisive, innovative.  

Personal: Effective communicator, influential, motivated

Professional: Collaborative, research minded, ambitious, driven.



Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Display a critical appreciation of how thermodynamic properties may be approached from the basis of the atomic / molecular descriptions of matter, and from the study of macroscopic properties

L2. Demonstrate a broad and integrated understanding of how a knowledge of molecular structure, and the use of statistical approaches, can lead to predictions of reaction rates.

L3. Identify and analyse problems involving experimental, tabulated and other numerical information

L4. Demonstrate competence in areas of mathematics relevant to physical chemistry.

L5. Demonstrate an understanding of the significance of the basic Quantum Mechanics concepts, and display competence in solving related problems in this topic.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

A broad and integrated knowledge, and a critical understanding, of principal theories, concepts and terminology of physical chemistry.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

The use of practical and quantitative skills in core and advanced areas of physical chemistry.Practice routine methods of enquiry / investigation, including a degree of unpredictability

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts and information.Identify and analyse routine professional problems and issues.Draw on a range of sources in evaluating issues and problems and in reaching conclusions.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Use a range of IT applications to obtain information and in its presentation in a variety of ways.

Interpret, use and evaluate numerical and graphical data

Use appropriate skills in the communication of information and conclusions.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercise some autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level.

Take some responsibility for the work of others, and take account of others’ roles and responsibilities.

Work under guidance with qualified practitioners

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Physical Chemistry 2
Other:or appropriate background
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module covers a wide variety of theoretical, conceptual and practical areas, which require a range of knowledge and skills to be displayed and exercised. Delivery of its syllabus content therefore involves a diversity of teaching and assessment methods suitable to the learning outcomes of the module; these include formal lectures, structured tutorials (work closely integrated with the lecture material), laboratory exercises to develop practical skills and familiarisation with equipment and experimental techniques, completion and submission of written coursework making use of appropriate forms of IT and VLE, and independent study.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery18
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity8
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop12
Practice Based Learning10
Independent Study152
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

P Atkins and J de Paula, Atkins’ “Elements of Physical Chemistry” Oxford University Press, 7th Edition, 2016.

P Atkins and J de Paula, Atkins’ Physical Chemistry, Oxford University Press, 11th Edition, 2018.

Robert G. Mortimer, “Mathematics for Physical Chemistry” 4th Edition, Amsterdam Press, Elsevier, 2013.

Martin Cockett, J. Derek Woollins, A. G. Davies, David Phillips, E. W. Abel, and Graham Doggett, Maths for Chemists, 2nd Edition, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Attending classes/workshops and submitting coursework.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPhysical Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPhysical Sciences
ModeratorDr Andrew McLean
External ExaminerM Paterson
Accreditation DetailsThis module is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry ( RSC) as part of the BSc (Hons) Chemistry programme.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Formal Written Examination
Coursework: (Written Assignment (25), Laboratory Reports (20%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen closed book (standard)check markcheck markcheck mark check mark552

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)   check mark 102
Portfolio of written workcheck markcheck markcheck mark check mark75
Report of practical/ field/ clinical work   check mark 55
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning logcheck markcheck markcheck mark  86
Portfolio of practical workcheck markcheck markcheck mark  1520
Combined Total For All Components100% 40 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is suitable for any student with appropriate chemistry background, however it should be noted that in order for you to complete this module the laboratory element of coursework will require to be undertaken, disability support can be provided where necessary, consequently, if disability support is needed to complete this part of the module, then the University’s Health and Safety Officer should be consulted to make sure that safety in the laboratory is not compromised.

Current University Policy on Equality and Diversity applies.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.