Communication skills are an essential part of all university degree courses. In general, communication skills are developed throughout undergraduate courses via a range of activities and many departments already have substantial parts of their course aimed at transferable skills.

The book ‘Communicating Chemistry’ contains a number of exercises that can be used to help students address specific aspects of communication skills, or can be run as a complete ‘module’. There are two key themes underpinning the design of the book. Firstly, as communication skills are learnt rather than taught, the exercises provide students with many opportunities for first hand practice and experience. Secondly, the exercises are all set in a chemistry context, so students see the skills as interesting and relevant, and are encouraged to discover, explain and use chemistry.

This resource focuses on team work and problem solving skills development. It outlines an exercise that will help students develop team working, problem solving, time management, information retrieval and presentation skills. The context used in the exercise is an industrial one, with the students working in teams on behalf of subsidiaries of a large company to secure a deal with an academic who has discovered a valuable tree bark.