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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BIOL3396 Molecular & Cellular Biology Research Projects

40 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr Chi Trinh

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

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 2 study

This module is mutually exclusive with

BIOL3397Biotechnology Research Project

Module replaces

BIOC3160, BIOL3306, MICR3110, MICR3080.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The final year 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 develop a research question and then to undertake independent research to answer that question. Outcomes are 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 successful completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate the ability to plan, execute and report on a research investigation based either on their own experimental data, other available data or on published literature.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a research topic in molecular and cellular biology (biochemistry, biological sciences or microbiology related);
2. Demonstrate skills in the appropriate and selective use of library resources, including computer based search tools including online databases such as ISI Web of knowledge, Medline and PubMed;
3. Demonstrate the ability to read critically a scientific paper to identify the key features of the study, interpret data presented and assess them critically in order to draw appropriate conclusions;
4. Write a clear, coherent and detailed report of their project in a scientifically acceptable format;
5. Prepare a poster that presents their research results, and answer questions on the work;
6. Conform to ethical and safety standards, and professional boundaries and norms where applicable.

Skills outcomes
- Managing Knowledge: sourcing/selecting/interpreting data, data evaluation/problem solving.
- Technical Competence: laboratory techniques, experimental design, analysing data.
- Managing Self: planning, time management.
- Managing Interrelationships: teamwork, decision taking.
- Learning from others: sharing, receiving critique.
- Presentation Skills: project reports, poster.


Students have the option of undertaking research on a laboratory-based project, literature researching a specific topic in detail, research developing or adapting computer software for use in a molecular and cellular biology environment, or alternative projects as available.

Depending on the type of project, an appropriate combination of practical work in advanced molecular and cellular research, designing experimental protocols, carrying out research investigations and interpreting experimental data; literature searching, reading and reviewing; report writing; computer work; developing oral and written presentational skills.

Non-laboratory projects include a biological sciences-related extension exercise in the form of a research grant proposal.

As part of this module, students are expected to attend School research seminars to develop their knowledge and understanding of research in fields related to their degree programme.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Supervised Practice1801.00180.00
Supervision Meetings121.0012.00
Independent online learning hours100.00
Private study hours102.00
Total Contact hours198.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Students should note that the following information is for guidance only. The actual time required for the various elements will vary between students. Private study will include report writing, editing and poster preparation up to 102 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Meetings with supervisor (formally, weekly throughout semester 1).
- Initial report / project plan
- Draft report (critiqued but not formally assessed)
- Final report
- Poster.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course Assessmentsee handbook for details100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

- Formative reports: a) summary of research project b) first draft version - Final report (70%) (failure to complete this work to a pass standard will result in a V code being appended to the final module mark). - Practical Process (20%) (assessment of laboratory or library skills) - Poster (10%)

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:27:00


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