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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BIOL5152M Topics in Plant Science

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Prof. Jurgen Denecke

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

BSc Biological Sciences

This module is not approved as an Elective


- To provide scientific knowledge on specific topics in plant biology focus of current scientific, media and political discussions.
- To provide basic practical skills in laboratory research using model plants.
- To provide skills in handling, analysing, interpreting and writing experimental data.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Understand and critically discuss current topics in plant science
- Critically review published papers and to identify areas for further research
- Undertake problem solving exercises associated with practical lab work
- Develop practical skills in plant biology research
- Interpret, present and discuss lab-obtained results according with the published literature.

Skills outcomes
During the course of the module you will be taught by our academic staff up-to-date information focused on their areas of research. You will also participate in groups and individually in journal clubs and literature research in order to learn how to critically review it and present it in various formats for example as an essay or an oral presentation using appropriate visual aids. You will also be given exercises to improve your data analysis skills. Professional development in the areas of ‘genetic modification’, ‘cell-walls’ and ‘nutrient uptake/ use efficiency’ (which are the main topics of this course) is essential to understand and solve issues affecting crop growth and productivity worldwide.


- The module will provide information and promote discussions on 3-4 topics in Plant Sciences. Basic laboratory skills will also be provided.
- The learning will be tested through a mixture of assessed coursework which includes problem solving exercises, laboratory projects and scientific debates.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours79.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

79 hours private study:
reading for lectures, preparation for tutorials and completion of assessed problems and literature review

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Attendance and contributions at tutorials.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical ReportLab report60.00
Reflective log1,000 word log on debate topic40.00
In-course AssessmentFormative exercise to support lab report0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

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


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