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CH30241: Engaging the public in chemistry research

[Page last updated: 21 April 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/3
Owning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Credits: 18 [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 360
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 55%, OT 45%
Assessment Detail:
  • Assessed Coursework (CW 55%)
  • Other Assessment (OT 45%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: In taking this module you cannot take CH30063 OR take CH30144 OR take CH30159
Learning Outcomes: While taking this unit the student should be able to:
* explore and use different methods and media for effective science communication, taking into account aims, contexts and audiences;
* engage in public engagement activities that may involve interaction with children, and/or adults;
* develop awareness of organisation, health and safety and planning at interactive events;
* design and carry out specific public engagement activities aimed at communicating current research in chemistry;
* demonstrate initiative, creativity and industry;
* work successfully within a team;
* critically evaluate their work using a variety of techniques;
* give an oral presentation and prepare an evaluative portfolio, including descriptive and reflective commentaries on the activities carried out.
* demonstrate an understanding of at least one area of research carried out in the department.

Aims: The aim of this unit is to give students experience in various aspects of science communication and public engagement. The unit aims to allow students to develop a range of transferable skills, particularly relating to communication, creativity, teamwork, project management, evaluation and self-reflection. Students will have the opportunity to participate in several communication events, design and deliver their own public engagement activities based around current research themes and explore the media and contexts with which they are most at ease.

Skills: Written Communication T/F A, Spoken Communication T/F A, Team work T/F, Project planning/management T/F A, Evaluation T/F A, Problem Solving T.

Content: Students will work individually and in teams to identify, design and demonstrate at least two public engagement activities at various events. These events could include local or national science fairs, science clubs and community events or meetings. Students will select a research topic from current research in the department and will be tasked to explore relevant media to engage their target audience with this research, such as through interactive exhibits, hands-on workshops or digital media. Students will receive training in techniques of science communication and public engagement and will be expected to evaluate their activities and reflect on their performance and skills development throughout the unit. Students will be encouraged to engage with the current literature, both in terms of chemistry research and discussions around public engagement.

Programme availability:

CH30241 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry (Year 3)
  • USCH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AFB07 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery (Year 3)
  • USCH-AAB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management (Year 3)
  • USCH-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Placement (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.