Case Study: Professional Practice in Chemistry

College Science
School / Department (list all where collaborative across more than one) Chemistry
Project / Innovation Title Professional Practice in Chemistry
Start & End Dates (where applicable) N/A
Project Lead Name Professor Tasnim Munshi & Professor Ian Scowen

Or just School of Chemistry

Additional Project Team Members N/A


Employability is an integral part of our School curriculum and the MChem/BSc programmes in Chemistry have embedded an explicit skills development programme through the three or four years, known as “Professional Practice”. These modules are timetabled for each year group and deliver a systematic programme in skills development, which includes skills profiling, personal development, CV writing, job applications, interview skills and assessment centres.

The modules exemplify the application of Chemistry in key employment sectors and present it through a unique integrated approach. A series of themed Industry Challenges are co-delivered via industry partnerships with multi-national and SME organisations (e.g., RB, AstraZeneca, BASF and iFormulate) representing the Analytical, Formulation, Pharmaceutical and Energy and Environmental sectors. After systematic project planning/management training, students devise and present technical proposals in response to real-life challenges and after consultation and feedback from a joint academic/industry panel, execute project plans and report within industry standard methods. In addition to setting, reviewing and providing feedback on industry challenges, industry colleagues discuss module content, design assessments and provide support to students for applications to placement/graduate positions.

As well as the industry challenges, professional skills are summatively assessed via review of reflective learning accounts, a technical interview, and a CV and cover letter. These provide opportunities for students to work individually or in groups and for peer collaboration and tutoring.

Students have commented favourably about the collaboration with industry:

“The collaboration with outside leading companies with RB etc. was also a great way to learn rather than just having lectures. I feel we had a lot of time in the labs and actually practicing chemistry, as appose to just learning about it and the student lead projects were very good too. We had a lot of support when needed and a lot of opportunity to learn for ourselves which was challenging yet rewarding,” (student quote NSS).

The experience we had as a course with different industries, working on industry set challenges has really helped me when applying for industrial placements/graduate schemes, etc. It really set me and my degree apart from other applicants,” (student quote NSS).

Our external examiners have noted the innovative programme and the professional practice modules:

“The distinctive features of the Chemistry program at Lincoln are the integrated way in which the content is delivered and the emphasis placed on the professional practice components. I am impressed by the ambition of the 30 credit structured project component in Stage 3 and by the quality of work produced by students across all three of the Stage 4 modules. It is also clear that the course allows students to grow in their ambitions and develop as chemists and scientist as they mature, with some able to surpass expectations at later stages given their achievements earlier on in the course,” (EE).

“The content is on the whole excellent. Professional practice material is especially good and quite innovative within the sector” (EE).


Please indicate which category/categories this project/activity aligns with
Academic Experience  
Employability Y
Learning Environment  
Learning Gain  
Student Engagement/ Student as Producer Y
Other (please indicate)