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Advanced Higher Practical Sessions

Every year we offer schools the chance to come in and use the facilities in the undergraduate teaching laboratories to run their Advanced Higher chemistry experiments.

Access is limited to the second two weeks in June and depending on demand one week in August. The capacity in the laboratories is 30 pupils per day, so we encourage schools to contact us early if you are interested in booking one or two days access to these facilities.

The sessions give pupils the opportunity to experience a university setting, while also completing their coursework in a world leading facility. The sessions will be facilitated by the teaching lab technicians and a PhD student will be available in each session to assist.

A tour of the facilities is offered prior to lunch, led by a PhD student who will be more than happy to answer questions about the department and university life.

Please note that neither the technicians nor the PhD students are there to run sessions and a qualified Chemistry teacher (or other science teacher fully familiar with the experiments) must to be with the students at all times.

Parking on the university campus is by permit only. This is at a cost of £5, which is payable when you arrive and must be requested at least one week prior. Parking spaces cannot be guaranteed.

For 2019 sessions will run from 09:00 to 15:00 on the 17/06/19 to 28/06/19 inclusive. The labs will close for lunch. Pupils are welcome to make use of the on-site catering facilities to purchase food, or a packed lunch can be brought.

If you can no longer attend your session(s) or there are changes in the number of pupils who can attend please contact us via as we always have a waiting list.

Experiments Offered

As listed in Old AH:

  • Unit 1 PPA 1 Preparation of Potassium Trioxalatoferrate (III)
  • Unit 1 PPA 2 Colorimetric Determination of Manganese in Steel
  • Unit 2 PPA 1 Complexometric Determination of Nickel using EDTA
  • Unit 2 PPA 3 Determination of Partition Coefficient
  • Unit 3 PPA 1 Preparation of Cyclohexene
  • Unit 3 PPA 2 Identification by Derivative Formation
  • Unit 3 PPA 3 Preparation of Benzoic Acid by Hydrolysis of Ethyl Benzoate
  • Unit 3 PPA 4 Preparation of Aspirin
  • Unit 3 PPA 5 Aspirin Determination
  • Gravimetric determination of Nickel using dimethylglyoxime

Please note:

  • At least one qualified chemistry teacher must attend with each school group. It will be the responsibility of said teacher to run the sessions and maintain the safety of their students. University staff will be on hand to facilitate and answer any questions they deem appropriate.
  • No lab manuals will be provided by the university staff and teachers are expected to be fully autonomous in their running of the sessions.
  • A maximum of 15 students may attend per school, per session.
  • Everyone present must adhere to university health and safety protocol. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • All present must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (lab coats and safety glasses)
    • All present must be appropriately dressed for a lab. No open toed shoes are allowed and full-length trousers must be worn.
    • Long hair must be tied back. 
    • No food or drink is to be consumed within the lab
    • No personal artefacts (i.e. phones) are to be touched with gloved hands.
    • No gloves or lab coats are to leave the lab
  • Any student not maintaining safety protocol, and are presenting a hazard to themselves or others, will be asked to leave the lab.

At the first session, please meet in the foyer of the Joseph Black Building.