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CHEM390 Introduction to Independent Research and Methods

An introduction to the concepts and practice of research methodology and analysis through critical assessment of published literature, attendance at departmental seminar presentations and a research project.

CHEM 390 Critical Readings in Chemistry is designed to allow students to experience research in chemistry by exposure to the scientific chemistry literature and participating in a practical research project. It will give students an opportunity to develop their oral, written and experimental skills and to investigate in-depth multidisciplinary chemical topics.

Paper title Introduction to Independent Research and Methods
Paper code CHEM390
Subject Chemistry
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Schedule C

CHEM 390 is intended for 300-level students planning to continue into postgraduate chemistry courses.

Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission.
View more information about departmental permission.

Dr Eng Wui Tan
Tel 64 3 479 7926
Location: Science II, 2n9
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Eng Wui Tan
List of project supervisors will change annually.
Paper Structure

The main part of the paper requirements is an extended research project (at least 50 hours), working with an academic supervisor. Students will choose from a list of available research topics and supervisors at the start of the year. The research period can be completed at any time during the academic year, in consultation with the supervisor. Students will present a 15-minute talk on their topic and write a dissertation describing their research efforts at the end of the year.

Students will be required to keep a logbook of their work in this paper. Class meetings will be held approximately every fortnight. Students will also be required to attend departmental seminars given by visiting lecturers and will write summaries on at least four seminars of their choice. Students can also spend time working with the Chemistry Outreach team in local schools.

Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation,Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • To develop an ability to critically evaluate the importance and significance of chemical literature and presentations
  • To gain experience in self-paced learning
  • To give students the opportunity to develop written and oral skills via a constructive feedback process
  • To allow students to become familiar with and utilise the various methods of information retrieval commonly used in chemistry

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 12:00-12:50 9, 11, 13, 20, 22, 28, 30, 32, 34, 37, 39, 41