Honour School of Chemistry

A

  • 1. The subject of the Honour School of Chemistry shall be the study of Chemistry.

  • 2. No candidate shall be admitted to examination in this school unless he or she has either passed or been exempted from the First Public Examination.

  • 3. The examination in this school shall be under the supervision of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Board, which shall prescribe the necessary regulations.

  • 4. The examination in Chemistry shall consist of three parts: IA, IB, II.

  • 5. A candidate shall not be awarded a classified degree until he or she has completed all parts of the examinations, and has been adjudged worthy of honours by the examiners in Part I (Part IA and Part IB) and Part II of the examination. The Examiners shall give due consideration to the performance in all parts of the respective examinations.

  • 6. The examiners shall be entitled to award a Pass to candidates in Part I (Part IA and Part IB) who have reached a standard considered adequate but who have not been adjudged worthy of honours.

  • 7. A candidate adjudged worthy of Honours in Part I (Parts IA and IB) and worthy of Honours in Part II may supplicate for the Degree of Master of Chemistry, provided that the candidate has fulfilled all the conditions for admission to a degree of the University.

  • 8. A candidate who passes Part I (Parts IA and IB) or who is adjudged worthy of Honours in Part I (Parts IA and IB), but who does not enter Part II, or fails to obtain Honours in Part II, is permitted to supplicate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry (pass or unclassified Honours, as appropriate); provided that no such candidate may later enter or re-enter the Part II year or supplicate for the degree of Master of Chemistry; and provided in each case that the candidate has fulfilled all the conditions for admission to a degree of the University.

  • 9. Candidates will be required to complete a core practical requirement: provided that this requirement may be reduced for candidates who have passed one or more supplementary subjects. Details of the requirements and the eligible Supplementary Subjects shall be prescribed in the Course Handbook. Exceptionally, the examiners may require a candidate to take a practical examination.

B

  • 1. In the following, ‘the Course Handbook’ refers to the Chemistry Undergraduate Course Handbook, posted annually at the start of Michaelmas Term by the Faculty of Chemistry.

  • 2. The examiners will permit the use of any hand-held calculator subject to the conditions set out under the heading ‘Use of calculators in examinations’ in the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations and further elaborated in the Course Handbook.

  • 3. The syllabus for Parts IA and IB shall be published in the Course Handbook.

  • 4. Supplementary Subjects.

    • (i) Candidates may offer themselves for examination in one or more Supplementary Subjects, provided that no more than three Supplementary Subjects may be offered in total.

    • (ii) Candidates awarded a pass in a Supplementary Subject examination may not retake the same Supplementary Subject examination.

    • (iii) Supplementary Subjects may be offered in all or any of the years in which candidates take any Part of the Second Public Examination.

    • (iv) The Supplementary Subjects available in any year will be published, together with the term in which each subject will be examined, in the Course Handbook in the academic year in which the courses are delivered. Regulations governing the use of calculators in individual Supplementary Subjects will be notified in the Course Handbook.

    • (v) Where a Language Supplementary Subject is available, entry of candidates for examination in Language Supplementary Subjects shall require the approval of the Chair of the Chemistry Academic Board and the Director of the Language Centre or their deputies. Approval shall not be given to candidates who have, at the start of the course, already acquired demonstrable skills exceeding the target learning outcomes in the chosen language.

    • (vi) In determining the place of candidates in the Results List the Examiners shall take account of performance in any Supplementary Subjects which have been offered.

Part IA

Candidates are not permitted to enter their names for examination in Part IA until they have entered upon the fifth term from their matriculation.

Part IA shall be entered on one occasion only.

In the Part IA examination, one compulsory paper will be set in each of Inorganic, Organic, and Physical Chemistry, covering the fundamental aspects of material from Years 1 and 2.

Candidates may not be examined viva voce in Part IA.

Marks obtained at Part IA will be carried over to Part IB.

Part IB

Candidates are not permitted to enter their names for examination in Part IB until they have entered upon the eighth term from their matriculation, or before sitting all the papers set for Part IA in a previous year.

In the Part IB examination, there will be two compulsory papers in each of Inorganic, Organic, and Physical Chemistry, covering material in the core courses of Years 1-3. In addition, there will one Option Paper, which will examine the content of the Option courses, but will also require knowledge of core course material. The Option Paper will offer a choice of three questions from at least twelve, and ten minutes reading time will be allowed.

Heads of the three main Sections of the Chemistry Department, or their deputies, and the IT Training Officer, shall make available to the Examiners records showing the extent to which each candidate has pursued an adequate course in laboratory work and in IT. Only that work completed and marked by 5 p.m. of the Friday of the fourth week of the Trinity Term in which the candidate takes Part IB shall be included in these records. The Examiners will require evidence of satisfactory completion of the core practical requirement, or the reduced requirement in the case of candidates who have passed one or more Supplementary Subjects. In determining the place of candidates in the Results List the Examiners shall take account of the marks reported for the core practical requirement.

Satisfactory completion of the prescribed core practical requirement, (or of a reduced core requirement if a Supplementary Subject is passed), is an absolute requirement for the award of Honours at Part IB and for progression to Part II. Satisfactory completion of a smaller core practical requirement will be required for the award of a Pass degree at Part I. The details of these threshold requirements shall be published in the Course Handbook.

Candidates may be examined viva voce at the Examiners’ discretion in Part IB.

A candidate who in Part I (i.e. Part IA and Part IB together) obtains only a pass, or fails to satisfy the examiners, may enter again for Part IB of the examination on one, but no more than one, subsequent occasion subject to the following limitations. Part IB consists of two parts, a set of written examinations and the practical course. A candidate may fail to be awarded honours at Part I for any of the following reasons.  The precise circumstances will determine which parts of Part IB may be re-taken/re-entered for.

  • (i) The overall mark at Part I is insufficient for honours, but the honours practical requirement set out in cl. A.9 above is complete and the practical mark is sufficient for honours. In this case the candidate will only be permitted to re-enter the Part IB written examinations, and the Practical mark will be carried forward.
  • (ii) The overall mark at Part I is insufficient for honours, and although the marks for the Part I written examination are sufficient for honours and sufficient practicals have been completed to fulfil the requirement set out in cl. A.9 above, the marks for the practical course are not sufficient for honours. In this case the candidate will only be permitted to re-enter to complete the practical course to honours standard. The marks for the written examination will be carried forward.
  • (iii) The overall mark at Part I is insufficient for honours, and although sufficient practicals have been completed to fulfil the requirement set out in cl. A.9 above, the marks for both the written examination and the practical course are insufficient for honours. In this case, the candidate shall be permitted both to re-enter the Part IB written examinations and to complete the practical course to honours standard.
  • (iv) The practical requirement set out in cl. A.9 above is incomplete, but the marks in the Part I written examination are sufficient for honours. In this case the candidate will only be permitted to re-enter to complete the practical requirement to honours standard. The written examination marks will be carried forward.
  • (v) The practical requirement set out in cl. A.9 above is incomplete and the overall mark obtained in Part I is insufficient for honours.  In this case the candidate shall be permitted both to re-enter the Part IB examination and to complete the practical requirement to honours standard.

Part II

No candidate may present him or herself for examination in Part II unless he or she has been adjudged worthy of honours by the examiners in Part I (Part IA and Part IB).

Part II shall be entered on one occasion only.

Candidates, who must have been judged worthy of Honours by the Examiners in Part I (Part IA and Part IB) in a previous year, must present a record of investigations carried out under the supervision of one of the following:

  • (i) any professor, reader, university lecturer, departmental demonstrator, or senior research officer who is also an official member of the Faculty of Chemistry;

  • (ii) any other person approved by the Chemistry Academic Board.

In case (ii), a co-supervisor as defined under (i) must also be approved, and so must the proposed project. Applications for project approval, including the names of the supervisor and a co-supervisor and a short project summary (not more than 250 words), should be sent by the student to the Chemistry Academic Board, c/o Chemistry Faculty Office, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, South Parks Road, by Friday of the third week of Hilary Full Term preceding the intended Part II year. Students who are uncertain whether their intended Part II supervision is in category (ii) above should consult their College Tutor or the Chemistry Faculty Office.

Candidates shall be examined viva voce, and, if the Examiners think fit, in writing, on their investigations and matters relevant thereto. The Examiners may obtain a report on the work of each candidate from the supervisor concerned.

Heads of the three main Sections of the Chemistry Department, or their deputies, shall make available to the Chemistry Faculty office not later than the Friday of the fourth week of the Hilary Full Term records giving notice of the subject of investigations for each candidate working in their section, together with evidence (a) that the subject has been approved by the candidate’s supervisor and (b), if it is to be carried out in a laboratory, that the person in charge of the laboratory considers that it is suitable for investigation in that laboratory. Candidates doing their project outside the Chemistry Department are responsible for ensuring that the subject of their investigations is submitted to the Chemistry Faculty office not later than the Friday of the fourth week of the Hilary Full Term.

A candidate for Part II is required to send in, not later than noon on the Friday of the seventh week of the Trinity Full Term, a record of the investigations which he or she has carried out under the direction of his or her supervisor. Such record, which should conform in length and format with guidance which the examiners may give, should be addressed ‘The Examination Schools, Oxford, for the Chair of the Examiners in Part II of the Final Honour School of Chemistry’ and should have included a Declaration of Authorship signed by the candidate that it is his or her own work.

Candidates for Part II are required to keep statutory residence and pursue their studies at Oxford during a period of at least 38 weeks in three terms for the dates shown at: www.ox.ac.uk/about_the_university/university_year/dates_of_term.