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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BIOL1110 Introductory Skills in the Molecular Biosciences

20 creditsClass Size: 192

Module manager: Victoria Easton

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Module replaces

BIOC1302, BIOC1303, BIOL1302BIOL1303, MICR1320BIOL1305 (a module containing components of the above modules), will be discontinued, not replaced.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This will be the introductory “Skills” module for all programmes in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The module will introduce students to core laboratory skills (i.e. design, execution and analyses of data derived from hypothesis driven experiments) and complement these skills by increasing student confidence in arithmetic and data manipulation / analysis in tutorials.


(i) to develop competency in basic laboratory skills required for molecular bioscience
(ii) to develop competency in basic numerical manipulation, analysis and interpretation of data commonly generated in simple experiments.
Basic laboratory skills will be developed in the practical classes, which are scaffolded by the experimental investigation of core concepts and supported by laboratory support staff, post-graduate demonstrators and an academic staff member.

In addition to the skills developed in the practical classes, students will further consolidate and develop their skills in numerical manipulation, data analysis and interpretation in the small group sessions and through online tests.

Learning outcomes
Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of, and practical competency in, core laboratory techniques for molecular and cellular biology;
2. Calculate percentages, proportionalities, molarity, concentration and dilution factors, and work with solutions in the laboratory;
3. Design simple controlled experiments, maintaining effective records of outputs;
4. Understand and apply safe laboratory practices;
5. Analyse and interpret a variety of numerical and experimental data using appropriate digital tools;
6. Communicate scientific information and findings effectively.


Practical classes will develop core skills required for laboratory based research such as accurate dispensing of liquids, preparation of buffers, use of instruments, data logging and the manipulation and interpretation of the resulting data. These skills will be developed via practicals on the quantification, characterisation, separation and activity of proteins and basic molecular biological methods to characterise and quantify DNA.
These practicals will be complemented by small group tutorials and academic personal tutor led tutorials focussing on consolidating and enhancing skills in calculations required for laboratory work (concentrations, dilutions and pH) and for data manipulation, interpretation and presentation and introductory concepts in statistics and computational biology.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours32.00
Private study hours101.00
Total Contact hours67.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be given on pre-submitted work for the 3 APT led tutorials, during the larger group workshops. A formative lab-calculations online test will be provided prior to the summative exam and a formative lab exam will be run (likely week 9).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Online AssessmentStudents complete OTLA in computer clusters or use Q’s with different starting numbers.30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Practical Exam / OSCE0 hr 70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:10:43


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