Examination regulations, assessment and grading
1.The Faculty Council, following the proposal of the competent Course Council, establishes the examination regulations in order to achieve an objective and fair assessment of the appropriate knowledge and skills of the students permitting the prosecution of their academic career.
2. Only enrolled students may be admitted to examinations.
3. Within each exam session, regularly enrolled students can sit as many examinations as they are entitled to through course attendance, in line with degree course programme regulation.
4. By passing examinations or other testing, students acquire the established educational credits.
5. Committee for credit-awarding examinations is appointed by the Faculty Dean and chaired by the official professor in charge of the course or, if established, by the course co-ordinator. Members of academic staff belonging to a similar or the scientific field, or, when necessary, post-graduate students so appointed by the Faculty Board, following fixed criteria may qualify for membership of a Committee. Committee operates with a minimum of at least two members, one of them being the official professor of the course the Committee refers to. If necessary, more than one Committee can simultaneously be working on the same credit-awarding examination, each being chaired by a professor belonging to the same or similar discipline. The President of the Committee records examinations and their results.
6. Results of one examination are expressed as a fraction of 30. In order to pass an examination, a minimum of 18/30 is required. The Committee may unanimously decide for a mention of distinction (lode).
7. The Dean prepares a timetable for credit-awarding examination, in accordance with provisions of the Organizing Regulation of the Faculty.
8. Each course provides students with at least six dates, distributed during the academic year, in which they can take examinations.
9. Examinations performed in oral form are open to the public.
Profile of the programme
Chemistry is a science that is central to the general acquisition of scientific knowledge and its applications. The Chemistry Degree Course of the University of Parma provides a solid foundation covering all key aspects of the various branches of chemistry, enabling the student to reach by the end of the course a comprehensive, structured and unified vision, and to make independent decisions about further studies or employment choices.
The 23 subjects of the Course include theoretical study, exercises and laboratory work. Progress is tested through 15 exams. An English course is also taught, followed by a proficiency test. The course is completed by two elective subjects to be chosen by the students and ends with a three-month internship at research laboratories within public or private agencies, companies, or the University.
Career opportunities for Chemistry graduates are typically provided by analysis, preparation (synthesis), control and quality certification laboratories, by public and private research bodies, by public and/or private agencies or companies, working as an employees or freelance consultants, and by all those industries that require basic knowledge in chemistry sectors and the use of chemistry as an essential part of their activities.
The degree course can be attended by all students having a secondary high school diploma, or an equivalent qualification obtained abroad. The Academic Regulations for the course specifies the method used to assess the expected knowledge, and it also describes the additional compulsory study or revision required in the case that students do not pass the initial test. In order to overcome possible educational gaps due to the specific syllabus followed during secondary school studies, focused educational activities will be offered the students in the form of pre-courses.
Key learning outcomes
The graduates in Chemistry have basic skills and competences in Chemistry, and successfully meet requirements for job positions in science. Specifically, chemistry graduates are able to apply the scientific method, can exploit innovative approaches and techniques, can use complex experimental set-ups and are ready to acquire new technological expertise both at the experimental and theoretical level. The acquired knowledge allows the graduate in chemistry to keep up with the evolution of the field, to interact with peers, while setting a solid basis for the access to specialistic degrees in chemistry and related sciences. The structure of the course complies both with “Chemistry Eurobachelor” and with the indication offered by the -“Core Chemistry” document elaborated by the Italian Chemical Society. The expected education results are fully in line with the European standards as declared in DM 16/03/2007, art.3, comma 7. After the acquisition of basic knowledge in the field of mathematics and physics, the curriculum is mainly devoted to fundamental topics in chemistry with theoretical courses also supported by exercise and laboratory sections. Indeed laboratory courses represent a large fraction of the proposed work, with many hours effectively spent by the students in the dedicated laboratories in the Chemistry Department. The experimental activity is instrumental to acquire relevant skills and a good knowledge of modern instrumentation, as well as to learn best laboratory practices, including risk management and safety procedures. At the end of the course, the practical training session helps the student to integrate and complement the knowledge obtained in the different fields. The proper acquisition of required competences will be monitored not only with oral and written examinations, but also via a continuous control of problem-solving abilities in devoted sessions during theoretical courses involving both the teacher and tutors and via the analysis of the reports produced by the students on the laboratory work.
The chemistry graduate can:
assist specialist operators during their activity in chemical research or in other activities requiring the exploitation of chemical procedures and protocols;
under the direction of a supervisor with a laurea magistrale degree, perform laboratory tests for the development of new products;
perform chemical analysis and quality control procedures, mastering state of the art chemical techniques and instrumentation, and prepare relevant reports;
exploit standard practices for chemical analysis, management of chemical laboratories, technical reports on chemical issues, and all activities defined by the current legislation as relevant to the chemical profession;
deliver client –consulting on product use;
relate the client requirements with the activities in the laboratory, production and marketing departments.
Chemistry graduates will work at public or private research laboratories, laboratories for chemical analysis, quality control and certification, public or private industries and enterprises, and more generally in all working environments where chemical knowledge and techniques represent a main requirement. In this context the chemistry graduate will successfully integrate with all the actors of the industrial and productive environment.
Knowledge and understanding
The Chemistry graduate acquires basic knowledge in:
-mathematics: algebra, numerical calculus, mathematical analysis, statistical treatment of experimental data.
-physics: mechanics, classical thermodynamics, optics, electromagnetism
- chemistry: chemical reactions, principles of quantum mechanics as applied to the descriptions of atoms and molecules, properties of chemical elements and compounds; the different states of matters and their properties, principles of thermodynamics and their chemical applications, chemical kinetics; relation between molecular properties and the behaviour of matter, chemical reactivity, techniques for structural determination, basic spectroscopic techniques, structure-properties relationships of organic and metallorganic compounds and materials, basic techniques in organic, inorganic and organometallic synthesis, polymerization synthesis and characterization, methods for up-scaling processes from the laboratory scale to the industrial scale, structure and reactivity of main families of biomolecules, analytical techniques and planning of analytical tests for chemical samples, treatment and elaboration of analytical data.
Applying knowledge and understanding
The problem-solving attitude of the Chemistry graduate is stimulated and consolidated via an intense experimental activity in chemistry laboratories as well as the tutorial activities that include both individual and team-work in the different disciplines. The extensive laboratory training provides the Chemistry graduate a sound practical knowledge of best practices in a chemical laboratory, allowing him/her to competently and safely run state of the art instrumentation. These skills are instrumental to successfully enter the job market. The acquisition of relevant skills is checked via oral and written exams and in the preparation of laboratory reports where the student must demonstrate a good handling of technical methods and approaches as well as a well-developed capacity to critical analysis. The practical training session at the end of the course offers a unique opportunity for the student to further develop the attitude to apply the acquired knowledge to the solution of new and challenging problems
The Chemistry graduate is able to:
collect and rationalize relevant scientific data obtained from laboratory work;
design and successfully run a scientific experiment;
describe the effects of chemical transformations;
plan and interpret analytical experiments;
retrieve and critically interpret information from chemical literature;
safely handle chemicals ;
properly classify and dispose of chemical waste;
The capacity of independent judgement, as needed to enter the job market, is obtained by the chemistry graduate mainly through an extensive laboratory activity that not only implies manual work, but also the elaboration of the result in a written report. This activity finds the most complete exploitation in the experimental work related with the final examination. The evaluation of the degree of independence and of the propensity of the graduate to individual and team-work is continuously assessed in the laboratories as well as with the examinations and the final exam.
The chemistry graduate has a solid background to pursue his/her scientific and professional training through the access to Laurea Magistrale degrees or to Master courses in chemical and scientific area. He/she is capable of individual and team work with a good attitude to comply with different work environments and different problems. Good learning attitudes are developed with an intense activity of individual study, the participation to laboratories requiring team-work and the preparation of an individual project during the final work. The learning attitudes are continuously monitored during the course, also asking the students to meet deadlines and to present relevant data collected on an independent basis, as well as evaluating the self-learning abilities developed with the final work.
The chemistry graduate has successfully taken several oral exams, improving communication skills and acquiring a good capability to participate into technical-scientific discussions with peers and with other people. The written reports of laboratory activities offer the students the possibility to improve their capacity of written communications in good technical-scientific style. The presentation of the results of the scientific work for the final examination to the Degree Commission gives the chemistry graduate a good opportunity to acquire basic presentation skills.
Final examination, if any
During the third year of the degree course, a practical training (work experience) session will be held, in which students participate to a laboratory work in the University research laboratories, or in public or private-sector companies or research institutes. This work experience, coordinated by a supervising professor, provides a total of 15 credits, including the presentation and discussion of the work in front of the Degree Commission.