Chemistry is a branch of science that bridges the past and the future, and plays a fundamental, leading and promotional role in the development of related disciplines. As a scientific study of the properties, composition, structure, transformation and application of matter, chemistry is the primary means of discovering and creating new substances. The chemical processes studied in this discipline are mostly the transformation of a substance into another, i.e. the formation of new substances, which is in fact due to changes in chemical bonding states. The substance is decomposed, combined or recombined at the microscopic level, which results in changes in its molecular composition and structure, and forms a new substance with special properties. Chemistry can thus explain and describe the evolution of elements, the synthesis of interstellar and circumstellar molecules, biological small molecules and biomacromolecules, and the gradual transformation of cosmic matter from simple molecules into biological small molecules and later the fundamental constituents of life.
Chemistry is a cornerstone of social progress and one of the important means to regulate biological processes and improve human health. We can enjoy a high-quality material life and have our needs in various aspects satisfied, including clothing, food, accommodation, transport, health improvement and disease control, all thanks to chemistry. It has become an important supporting pillar of every country’s economy in modern society. By studying the close relationship between modern chemistry and subject knowledge about life, energy, material, food, medicine, environment and human life, we gain better understanding of our fascinating world, understand everyday phenomena, and explain things around us with science.
Chemistry is a central subject of natural science and one of the influential areas of modern natural science necessary for connecting scientific and engineering technology. It has laid a strong foundation with other disciplines like mathematics and physics for modern natural science to develop rapidly. With its core knowledge applied to various areas of natural science, chemistry is the key to harnessing and the power of nature. It integrates and interacts with other disciplines, complementing one another. Numerous “boundary disciplines” are thus created, such as biochemistry, geochemistry, cosmochemistry, marine chemistry and atmospheric chemistry, accelerating technology development in biology, electronics, aerospace, lasers, geology and marine science. In the 21st century, chemistry, as the “central subject”, is going to integrate and interact with physics, life sciences, materials science, environmental science, information Science, energy science, marine science and space science, facilitating substantial development of all these disciplines. Therefore, in order to evolve CUHK(SZ) into a world-class university with a broad spectrum of disciplines, there is a pressing need to set up chemistry courses, which is also an urgent need for the economic transformation of Shenzhen and the Greater Bay Area (GBA). The development of Chemistry Programmes in CUHK(SZ) is vital for improving the level of synthetic chemistry in the core regions of the Greater Bay Area, fully enhancing the competitiveness of higher education institutions, facilitating the economic and social development of the Greater Bay Area, fulfilling the strategic development need of Shenzhen and CUHK(SZ), and establishing an integrated university system for CUHK(SZ).
This programme intends to provide undergraduates with well-structured, exhaustive, and fundamental training in modern chemistry. The programme will place a considerable emphasis on cultivating students’ laboratory skills and supplement compulsory chemistry courses with relevant laboratory courses.
This programme provides two study streams: Chemistry Science; and Materials Science and Engineering.
Expected learning outcomes
When the students successfully complete the programme, they will have acquired:
- a rigourous foundation in the theory and application of either “Chemistry Science” or “Materials Science and Engineering” (K);
- a solid command of the practical experimental skills in either “Chemistry Science” or “Materials Science and Engineering” (K&S); and
- the ability to tackle simple applications of theoretical analysis and practical experimental operation, to explain and understand, solve chemistry and materials science and engineering problems(S&V).
K = Knowledge outcomes; S = Skills outcomes; V = Values outcomes
Implications for learning activities
Different types of learning activities will be used to help students to achieve specific learning outcomes. These activities include lectures, group discussions, site visits, project learning, presentations, case studies and experiment exercises.
Implications for assessment
Students will be assessed by their performance in essays, assignments, projects, group works, presentations, quizzes, field trips, experiment, and examinations.
It is expected that most required courses, foundation courses and many major required and electives in the proposed undergraduate programme will be offered by the Chemistry Programme of SSE. To have staff members of the Chemistry Programme of SSE run this undergraduate programme will fully utilise the strength within SSE. In addition to providing these courses for its own students, the Programme will also allow students in all other units to benefit from the high-quality delivery of the chemistry curriculum. Jointly running this Programme also allows the university to achieve resource sharing in all aspects including curriculum offering, programme management, internship planning, and job placement.