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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BLGY3345 Biology Integrated Research Projects

40 creditsClass Size: 180

Module manager: Professor Elwyn Isaac

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Progression through Level 2 study

Module replaces

BLGY3340: Biology Research Projects

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The final year Integrated Research Project provides students with the opportunity to become fully engaged with their research discipline. With guidance from an academic supervisor, students have the opportunity to both develop a research question and then to devise the means to undertake independent research to answer that question. This requires the ability to generate hypotheses and then test them through data generation or collection based on appropriate methodologies (usually prescribed but may be student-led within guidelines) and to critically evaluate and synthesise/ analyse this data to address the original hypothesis. These results are then presented in a report that outlines the context of the research, the approaches taken, conclusions made and future work, including the potential applications of the research findings.


On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to plan, execute and report on a research investigation either based on their own experimental data, other available data or on published literature.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:
- design, plan and execute a research project (field, computer or literature based);
- collate, analyse and present scientific data/ literature, including the use of computer packages;
- prepare a detailed report, in a scientifically acceptable format.
- use library resources, including computer based search tools and online databases such as ISI Web of knowledge, Medline and PubMed appropriately and selectively;
- read critically a scientific paper and to identify the key features of the study; including the ability to write a scientifically suitable abstract for a research paper;
- prepare a poster that presents their research results, and to answer questions on the work;
- interpret data presented in scientific papers and to assess them critically in order to draw appropriate conclusions.

Skills outcomes
- Project formulation, data collection (raw and/ or from literature) and analysis, writing and visual plus oral presentation skills (poster and associated viva).

Skills outcomes
As a result of the regular meetings with the project supervisor students should
- understand the objectives set;
- demonstrate ability to organise your time to achieve the objectives;
- demonstrate ability to report on your achievements and discuss outcomes.

As a result of the practical work, students should be able to:-
- understand the methodology used;
- demonstrate ability to execute independent research;
- demonstrate ability to record data appropriately;
- demonstrate ability to appreciate the risks and undertake the necessary safety assessments as appropriate.

On completion of your project introduction, students should be able to:-
- demonstrate the ability to access relevant literature sources;
- demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of the study against published work;
- demonstrate ability to produce a written account using skills developed in previous years.

In your project report, students are expected to:-
- demonstrate ability to present your results in an appropriate form;
- demonstrate appropriate statistical or other analyses of data;
- demonstrate ability to make appropriate conclusions and comments;
- identify potential applications for research findings.

In the poster presentation, students are expected to:-
- Produce an informative and readable poster;
- Explain your research findings and answer questions on your research.


Individual research project leading to the production of a written report.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours317.00
Private study hours80.00
Total Contact hours3.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Private study will include planning and implementation, analysis and writing up to 80 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have regular meetings (averaging every week or so) to set objectives and to reflect on what has been achieved since the previous meeting. These meetings may involve other members of the research team.

Students will be provided with sufficient resources for achieving agreed project aims. While appropriate guidance will be provided, students will need to demonstrate that they can work independently.
Two days (that’s 16 hours weekly) of working time is expected.

One draft of the project report is submitted to the supervisor for formative feedback. Regular progress meetings provide informal formative feedback on knowledge, understanding and progress throughout the project.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report(see additional notes below)85.00
In-course AssessmentProcess mark: Overall performance, engagement, planning, organisation and attendance at meetings.15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

1. Lab/Field/Data project. Project report (85% of total assessment) in the format of a scientific paper (12 pages maximum for laboratory and field projects; 20 pages maximum for data analysis projects). Process mark for student performance (15% of total assessment). 2. Literature/library project. Integrated project report (85% of total assessment), comprising main report and an extension exercise (30 pages maximum). Process mark for student performance (15% of total assessment).

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 24/08/2021 16:09:56


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