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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BIOL5371M Research Planning and Scientific Communication

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Alison Baker

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

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Undergraduate degree in biological sciences or equivalent.

This module is not approved as an Elective


This module aims to train participants how to plan and structure research from an individual experiment to a program of work. Furthermore, the module seeks to train students in communicating scientific research in different formats including; literature review, scientific research papers and oral presentations.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will have:
1. Received guidance on searching literature and writing a literature review;
2. Understood how a series of experiments are planned and linked together to form a coherent piece of work;
3. Understood how a research paper is constructed (text and production of figures);
4. Gained an appreciation of the critical evaluation of data;
5. Taken a figure from a research paper and analysed the experimental procedures required to produce that data;
6. Worked in a team to construct a programme of research and make an oral presentation;
7. Written their research programme in the form of an individual grant proposal.

Skills outcomes
Research planning, communication in different formats, discussing and defending ideas, problem-solving and questioning skills, summarising and synthesising information.


How to search literature and write a review. Designing experiments and linking them into a research programme. Critically evaluating data. Writing a grant proposal. How to prepare graphics and figures. Writing a scientific paper.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session41.004.00
Private study hours81.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Private study will involve working through the tutorial activities and workshops and preparing for the coursework surgeries and assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through the tutorials, workshops and coursework surgeries and through the quality of assessed work submitted.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentDesign a flow chart based on a published paper40.00
AssignmentWrite an application for a project grant (assigned by tutor)60.00
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: 08/09/2022


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