Establishing a Fourth Core Strand of Chemistry: Computational

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


With advancing technology, the importance of computational chemistry continues to grow. This topic should not remain for postgraduate education or higher, but holistically included in undergraduate curriculum at every stage to provide students modern transferable skills and prepare them for their future workplace. There are two branches of computational chemistry that we have focused on teaching our students; molecular modelling and programming. Both require students to be proficient in data analysis - an important skill to nurture. Our fundamental approach is based on understanding why certain methodologies are chosen to answer a particular chemistry question by knowing each method’s limitations and then vitally linking results back to real chemistry scenarios.
This has been achieved by restructuring laboratory content to include a separate computational component as the fourth string in the normal inorganic / organic / physical trifecta. However, this does require investment in adequate hardware and software. Making the software available across the campus can come at a significant cost, yet it notably allows more flexibility for students in when and where they complete their lab exercises.
Furthermore, lecture units have been introduced and redesigned to provide more context and theory. Pitching the level of theory, trying not to prejudice student’s thoughts on the topic, and teaching a diverse range of students (with computational experience) has been challenging. This will be discussed alongside our lab developments in the hope of helping others navigate similar curriculum expansions to make computational core.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2019
EventVariety in Chemical Education and Physics Higher Education Conference 2019 - University of Bristol, Bristol, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Aug 201923 Aug 2019


ConferenceVariety in Chemical Education and Physics Higher Education Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleViCEPHEC19
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


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