University of Otago, New Zealand


Te Tari Hua-Ruanuku

CHEM390 - Critical Readings in Chemistry


CHEM 390 Critical Readings in Chemistry is an 18-point, full-year paper.

This paper 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. 

CHEM 390 is intended for:

Course Outline

A list of topics and supervisors will be given to students.  After discussion, each student will be assigned to a topic and will be provided with an initial paper concerning this topic by their supervisor.  Students will use this paper as an introduction to their general topic.  During the course, students will meet regularly with their supervisor, and class meetings will be held approximately every fortnight.  Students will be required to attend departmental seminars given by visiting lecturers, and will write summaries on at least four seminars of their choice.  Students will be required to keep a logbook of their work in this course and they will also present a 15-minute talk on their topic.


Lecture times and venues

Semester 1 and 2   Thursday at 12.00 noon, fortnightly 

Attendance at a number of departmental seminars is also required. These are generally held on Friday at 12.00 noon in Chem 1. 

Expectations at the completion of the course

Graduate Attributes

Communication, critical thinking, information literacy, research, self-motivation, teamwork. 

Assessment (there will not be a formal written examination)

    Written analysis of initial paper       20%
    Oral presentation                          20%
    Final written project report             40%
    Logbook                                     10%
    Seminar summaries                      10%


No textbook required for this paper.

Teaching Staff

Dr Eng Wui Tan

The list of project supervisors will change annually.

Course Coordinator

Dr Eng Wui Tan
Dr Eng Wui Tan
Tel: +64  3  479 7926
Location: Science II, 2n9