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BSc Biology and History and Philosophy of Science

Year 1

(Award available for year: Certificate of Higher Educ)

Learning outcomes

On completion of the year/programme students should have provided evidence of being able to:

- demonstrate a familiarity with the basic concepts, information, practical competencies and techniques which are standard features of the discipline;

i) Concepts and information

a) The nature of science and conceptual issues with respect to objectivity, truth and justification in science, 'How Science Works'.
The nature of technology using analytical themes and historical examples, 'Technology in the Modern World'

b) Overview of history of modern science & medicine
'Scientific Revolution' and 'Science in the Modern World'

ii) Practical competencies and techniques
i) Effective use of library resources and textbooks/coursepacks of reading
ii) The preparation for and writing of essays and unseen examinations

- use basic generic and subject specific intellectual qualities

- be able to communicate the results of their work;
Essay writing and examinations, and contributions to tutorials

- be able to interpret and evaluate the underlying concepts and principles of the discipline;

Students are required to interpret and evaluate some key concepts and principles
Discovery, Objectivity, Truth - 'How Science Works'
Technological Determinism, Instrumentalism, Modernity - 'Technology in the Modern World
Ancient Science, Modern Science, Revolution -'The Scientific Revolution'

iv) evaluate qualitative and/or quantitative data;

Primary historical sources are used to introduce students to qualitative analysis in most Level 1 HPS modules

- demonstrate an ability to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to problem solving associated with the discipline;

When studying key texts, students learn to appreciate the difference between taking a simple literal view and of adopting a critical interpretative approach.

- appreciate their strengths and weaknesses as learners;
This is supplied by oral feedback in tutorials and in feedback from mid-semester essays.

- demonstrate an awareness of professional and disciplinary boundaries;
Students learn that history and philosophy of science is closely linked not only to the disciplines of History and Philosophy but that a training of history and philosophy of science is highly beneficial to study of, and subsequent professional practice of, the natural and social sciences.

Transferable (key) skills

Students will have had the opportunity to acquire, as defined in the modules specified for the programme:
- qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment related to the subject area(s) studied
Group Work
Problem solving
Use of IT

- skills necessary for the exercising of personal responsibility
Learning to Learn
Self management


Achievement will be assessed by a variety of methods in accordance with the learning outcomes of the modules specified for the year/programme and will include:
1. demonstrating the knowledge and application of standard concepts, information and techniques relevant to the discipline;
2. work that covers a restricted area of the discipline;
3. demonstrating emerging abilities, skills and competencies.


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