MSc Cancer Research and Molecular Biomedicine

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Research Project 2

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL66132
Credit rating 90
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


A practical research project in a laboratory where the student is fully integrated within a research team. The project is assessed by submission of a dissertation, poster or oral presentation, and an assessment of research performance.


  • pass the Research Project 1 (with referral if required) and;
  • pass the Research Methods unit (with compensation or referral if required) OR
  • pass the Clinical Masterclass unit (with compensation or referral if required and;
  • pass the Practical Skills unit (with compensation or referral if required), and;
  • pass the Tutorial unit (with compensation or referral if required), and;
  • pass the programme-specific unit (with compensation or referral if required), and;
  • satisfactorily attend and complete all compulsory elements (Understanding academic malpractice) and appropriate components of the Faculty Regulatory courses (as agreed with their Programme Director).


  • Equip students with knowledge and practical skills to pursue a research career relevant to the MSc programme.
  • Develop practical research expertise in chosen areas of the MSc programme.
  • Develop presentation skills for oral and/or poster presentation of new research.

Learning outcomes

  • Be familiar with the theoretical and practical basis of research methods and techniques.
  • Have acquired practical experience of developing research questions, and using research methods to answer these questions.
  • Have a detailed and systematic understanding of a chosen area relevant to the chosen MSc programme. 
  • Have practical experience of presenting scientific research either as an oral or poster presentation.

Knowledge and understanding

Gain knowledge, practical skills and research experience to pursue a research career focussed on the field of the chosen MSc programme:

  • Understand scientific method together with the philosophical contexts within which research is conducted in the field of the chosen MSc programme.
  • Be familiar with the theoretical and practical basis of the research methods and techniques used in the major sciences basic to medicine.
  • Have acquired an understanding of the theory and practise of research methods and techniques.
  • Be aware of the practical issues and problems associated with conducting high quality research in medicine, including ethical issues; informed consent; storage of patient information both summative and formative
  • Have a detailed and systematic understanding of a chosen area of medical science

Intellectual skills

Understand the theory behind different techniques so they can be applied and altered as required.

  • Adopt a reflective and inquisitive attitude to the analysis and evaluation of research in the field of the chosen MSc programme
  • Recognise, define, formulate and prioritise research questions that are pertinent to the field of the chosen MSc programme
  • Analyse, interpret, objectively evaluate and prioritise information, recognising its limitations
  • Understand and be able to critically appreciate methodology, including the appropriate selection of quantitative or qualitative methods
  • Recognise the importance of rigour in collecting, analysing and interpreting data
  • Exhibit creativity and resourcefulness in their professional learning, scientific endeavour and research formulations

Practical skills

  • Apply appropriate methodologies to specific research questions
  • Demonstrate competence in practical laboratory or clinical skills to enable sound and reproducible collection of data
  • Present information clearly in written, electronic and oral forms, and communicate ideas and arguments effectively
  • Retrieve, manage and manipulate information by all means, including electronically

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Effectively manage time resources and set priorities
  • Monitor and realistically evaluate their own performance and personal capability
  • Be aware of career opportunities and begin to plan a career path
  • Demonstrate scholarship in research
  • Demonstrate a capacity for self-directed, independent learning and adopt the principles of reflective practice and lifelong learning
  • Deal with uncertainty and work within a changing environment

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Ability to interpret experimental data and devise follow up experiments
Group/team working
Being able to work as part of a team
Being able to work independently
Project management
Good time management and ability to prioritise work objectives
Problem solving
Ability to seek and act upon advice
Awareness of research health and safety
Written communication
Presenting experimental data to colleagues
Having practical skills relevant to the relevant research area of the programme

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 5%
Dissertation 80%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%

•    Research performance (execution, analysis and documentation of your own project) (5%)
•    Poster submission and presentation on public session (15%)
•    Written project report (80%)

Feedback methods

There are a series of timetabled meetings with the Programme Director and Project Supervisor to discuss progress. The meetings are recorded on a form (signed by all present) and are held by the Programme Administrator.

In addition the student is expected to take an active part in all their research group’s lab meetings, which would normally be held weekly.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 900

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andreas Prokop Unit coordinator
Janine Lamb Unit coordinator
John Curtin Unit coordinator
Margherita Bertuzzi Unit coordinator
Joe Swift Unit coordinator

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