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Subject Summary

Part III (the fourth year) is intended for those who wish to pursue a career in research; it leads to graduation with an M.Sci. degree. The fourth year will be quite different from the previous three years, which have in a sense been a preparation for this final year. There are just two components to the fourth year: a major research project, occupying all of the first and second terms, and a wide selection of research-oriented lecture courses from which a free choice can be made. Students will write up an account of their research project (about 5000 words) and in addition there will be end-of-year examinations.

Programme Specification

This course is taught by the Department of Chemistry.


This course aims to:

  1. build on the knowledge and ideas gained from Part II Chemistry;
  2. develop, in selected areas, an understanding of chemistry which will allow the student to appreciate and begin to develop a critical understanding of current research topics, especially those represented in the Department;
  3. undertake a substantial and novel research project under the direction of a member of staff, and thereby to gain an understanding of relevant research techniques, and the design and interpretation of experiments;
  4. learn how to present their results both orally and in writing.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should:

  1. be able to apply the ideas and concepts introduced in the course to solve problems, make calculations, make predictions and rationalize trends and critically evaluate information and data;
  2. be able to demonstrate their continuing ability to understand and apply fundamental concepts in chemistry;
  3. have developed general practical, organizational and presentational skills which will enable them to continue with research;
  4. be able to demonstrate the necessary skills and knowledge required for a career as a professional chemist.

Teaching and Learning Methods

These include lectures, supervisions, examples classes and a research project.


Assessment for this course is through:

  • three unseen written examinations (for aims 1-2 and learning outcomes 1, 2 and 4);
  • submission of a dissertation of 5000 words (for aims 3-4 and learning outcomes 3-4);
  • presentation to their research group and oral examination on the content of the dissertation (for aims 3-4 and learning outcomes 3-4).

Courses of Preparation

Essential: NST Part II Chemistry.

The detailed entry requirements can be found at The Fourth Year - Part III.

Additional Information

Further information is available on the Course Websites pages.