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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BMSC3398 Practical Research Skills

20 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Stephen Clapcote

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Continued progression on MBIOL from Level 2 to Level 3 (minimum average of 65%)


BMSC3399Extended Research Project Preparation

This module is not approved as a discovery module


- To provide direct practical experience of current scientific research methods;
- To develop the personal and intellectual skills required to become producers as well as consumers of scientific data and ideas;
- To provide experience of using a range of current biological techniques and understand how to use combined approaches to build more general understanding;
- To provide experience in planning experimental research and combing individual techniques to design broad studies;
- To provide experience of combining data from individual experimental approaches related to a single area to obtain a broader understanding.
- To provide experience of analysis and presentation of scientific data.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will have:

- utilised a range of current laboratory techniques;
- gained experience in the collation, analysis and presentation of scientific data, including the use of computer packages;
- gained experience in how to present different types of data, related to the same topic, together
- developed skills in the appropriate and selective use of library resources, including computer based search tools such as ISI Web of knowledge, Medline and PubMed;
- prepared and submitted individual laboratory reports,
- worked as part of a group to plan, generate and deliver a presentation built around their individual data types

Skills outcomes
Project formulation, data collection and analysis, presentation of data in the forma of a manuscript.


Students will undertake several laboratory practicals that will utilise current research techniques and methods. Each practical will stand alone though the focus of the investigation will be linked across the different practicals. Throughout the students will be exposed to interpreting experimental data, literature searching, reading and reviewing and report writing. The module will finish with the integration of the data to generate a more holistic understanding.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Supervision Meetings51.005.00
Independent online learning hours123.00
Private study hours40.00
Total Contact hours37.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

This includes associated reading, project planning, analysis of experimental data, writing of results.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be supervised in the laboratory, progress will be monitored by practical reports submitted during the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationGroup presentation20.00
PracticalTwo reports 40% each80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Any absence from a practical class will attract a v-code. To remove the v-code the student must submit a lab report, based on data provided to them, by a given deadline. The lab report will be check marked to determine it has reached a pass standard. Feedback will not be provided on it.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 17/04/2019


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