CHEM 399 : Capstone: Chemistry


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Using a combination of skills learnt throughout the Chemistry major, students will investigate key chemistry-related phenomena, working individually and in groups, producing both written and oral reports. Along with the chemistry behind the phenomena, the social, environmental, economic and ethical considerations will be explored.

Course Overview

Haere mai and welcome to the Chemistry capstone course, CHEM 399.

Chemistry impacts on our lives in countless ways and in CHEM399 but in modern society chemistry and chemicals can also be commonly seen in a detrimental manner. Due to its fundamental nature as a core science chemists are frequently required to explain the impact of chemical processes to diverse audiences. In this course you will use your combined chemistry knowledge, working individually and in groups, to explore how chemistry has, or will have, an impact on the social, environmental, economic and ethical considerations of New Zealand and also globally.

In this course the first half of semester will be spent with students in the other School of Chemical Sciences capstone courses (in Medicinal Chemistry and Green Chemistry). In this section you will take a topical chemistry problem and summarise it for a general audience, working in a group to preparing a popular science written article. In the second half of the semester you will take another topical chemistry  and working in a group and individually prepare a video presentation and written piece, explaining chemistry-related phenomena to an advanced academic and also to less knowledgeable audience. During the course you will also complete individual reflective exercises where you use your combined chemistry skills to understand the multidisciplinary nature of modern chemistry. 

The skills and capabilities developed in this course will benefit those students who are entering into postgraduate research but will equally benefit those entering into the workforce directly after their studies. All students in the BSc majoring in chemistry are required to pass this course as part of their degree

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 45 points from CHEM 251, 252, 253, 260

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically analyse the primary literature on a topic in chemistry (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  2. Explain and communicate discipline specific information to a general audience (Capability 1, 4 and 5)
  3. Communicate in a group video a chemistry-related topic (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  4. Demonstrate your ability to work both independently, and as part of a team to develop ideas and communicate to a diverse audiences using a variety of formats. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes 5% Individual Coursework
Reflections 20% Individual Coursework
Assignments (Written) 45% Group & Individual Coursework
Assignment (Video) 30% Group Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Assignments (Written)
Assignment (Video)

Special Requirements

Student must complete the compulsory reflection activities  and must attend the video assessment sessions in person (generally taking place in the last week of semester)

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 1 hours of lectures, a 2 hour tutorial, 3.5 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3.5 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials.
Lectures will be available as recordings. 
The course will not include live online events.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Students will be provided with a course information at the start of the course.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 26/10/2021 02:21 p.m.