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S(X)S021 Laboratory Skills for Chemistry

This laboratory school will enable you to get some hands-on experience in the Open University teaching laboratories at Walton Hall. The laboratory work will enable you to develop your practical skills through experiments involving inorganic, organic, analytical and physical chemistry. 


This laboratory school is suitable for students who are studying or have successfully completed S218 or the predecesor module S215.

This laboratory school is compulsory for R59, W90 and S34 students. It is optional for students on all other qualifications. 

If you have any additional requirements (eg accessibility or dietary requirements), please can you highlight these at an early stage so that we can discuss the reasonable adjustments that may need to be made. Lab coats and all other PPE will be provided.

Information for 2025 

Venue: The Open University Campus, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA 

Duration: 2.5 days 

Tuition Fee: No fee for R59, W90, S34 students. £265 for students on all other qualifications 

Laboratory school dates: 
Monday 24th – Wednesday 26th March 2025 

Monday 31st March – Wednesday 2nd April 2025 

(Monday 7th – Wednesday 9th April 2025 and Monday 14th - Wednesday 16th April 2025 are reserve weeks and will open if there is sufficient demand)

Registration: for S(X)S021 can only be completed by telephone. Call +44 (0) 300 303 5303. Lines are open between 8am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday. We will update this page when registration is open for 2025. 

Travel and accommodation: 

You will need to book and pay for your own accommodation, travel and food associated with the lab-school. The tuition fee for the course and these additional costs cannot be covered with a part time tuition fee loan. When booking accommodation please be aware of transportation requirements as the campus is several miles from the centre of Milton Keynes. 

Experiments and techniques covered in the practical sessions  

Acid-base titration 
Techniques - weighing, pipetting, titration, measuring pH 

Chemistry of halogens 
Techniques - reflux, crystallisation, filtration, melting point determination, qualitative analysis 

Extraction and identification of photosynthetic pigments 
Techniques - solvent extraction, TLC analysis, UV-VIS analysis 

Inorganic synthesis: copper glycinate complexes 
Techniques - synthesis, IR spectroscopy, UV-VIS analysis 

Amide synthesis and characterisation 
Techniques - filtration, recrystallization, melting point determination, TLC analysis, IR spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy 

There are no assignments for this practical school.  However, in order to pass and for your attendance to be included in your academic transcript on StudentHome, you will need to meet the participation requirement of attending more than 80% of the school. Whilst at the school you will record data, analysis and interpretations in your lab manual and discuss/present your data/findingsand this will be reviewed and signed off by one of the tutors.  You may then include this as evidence within your portfolio for employability purposes.

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