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BSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Science Media Project

Unit code BIOL31230
Credit rating 30
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


Science Media Project

Produce a portfolio of communication materials aimed at a range of audiences, including a Biological Sciences Review Article, an article suitable for New Scientist (or equivalent), an oral presentation to a scientfic audience, and a creative piece, which must be evaluated.


FYPs aim to develop research skills, both bioscience and generic, promote independent learning, enhance the employability of students, and enrich the student experience.

Please see the Research Projects & Literature Reviews link on the intranet for further information.


Learning outcomes

Outcomes for students are that you should:

  • learn to work independently or as part of a group/team as required (research group, for example) to address a particular bioscience question or topic
  • be able to search for and critically review the literature in a particular field and relate your own research to that in the existing literature;
  • develop critical and creative thinking skills (develop ideas, data analysis and evaluation skills, be able to form judgements);
  • gain experience in the scientific method and develop problem solving skills; for example, how to design experiments or develop strategies to test hypotheses and/or evaluate your output;
  • develop communication skills
  • write a scientific review and project report (or equivalent)
  • develop oral presentation skills (tutorial talk)
  • liaise with supervisor, other staff and students, as appropriate;
  • acquire additional project-specific skills as appropriate (such as various  lab or IT skills).



The amount and timing of the work will depend on the particular Degree Programme and exact details will be given to you by the relevant Programme Director or Supervisor.

All projects are worth 30 credits, and most will have a 10 credit Literature Review associated with it (please see below for exceptions). You will be allocated a supervisor as early as possible in the first semester of the final year. You should contact your allocated supervisor as soon as you are able, s/he will discuss the type of project with you, the bioscience topic on which it is based, and how the Project might relate to the Literature Review. Your supervisor may offer some "starter" references so that you can begin background reading for your Literature Review (you should have started work on your Lit Review no later than week 3).

Literature Reviews

Most Honours degree students are required to submit a 10 credit Literature Review (unit code BIOL30101).

Students on Cognitive Neuroscience & Psychology programmes who opt for an SBS project will do a 10 credit Psychology Dissertation in place of the Literature Review and should refer to separate Psychology Guidelines.


Your project work spans semesters 5 and 6. In semester 5, you should plan your project, attend supporting seminars as appropriate, and begin preliminary work, which you will take forward in semester 6. You should aim to finish project work before the Easter break, and then write your Project Portfolio.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analysis of evaluation data relating to your creative piece; analysis of other project-related resources where appropriate.
Group/team working
This will vary depending on the type and nature of the project. You may work with other individuals for example (Museum, school, general public or elearning team), and you should support your colleagues.
In the design and evaluation of your project work
You may need to work with other staff to organise and deliver your project.
Project management
Plan your work, communication pieces and submissions in a timely manner.
Oral communication
10 minute talk on your project in the tutorial programme.
Problem solving
Project work often produces unforeseen issues or problems; thinking about how to deal with them is part of the project experience, so rise to the challenge and make contingency plans where appropriate.
Research the literature; research of related work; market research (if appropriate); using research methods to design experiments and test hypotheses (possibly in the evaluation of your creative piece).
Written communication
You will write a Lit Review and Project Portfolio

Assessment methods

•         Portfolio Report (85%)

Your Portfolio Report and creative piece materials should be submitted via Blackboard as an electronic PDF file. The deadline for handing in final reports is given on the front page of the final year handbook, or can be obtained from the Student Support Office. Details of Assessment and marking criteria can be found in the Guidelines to Literature Reviews and Projects document in Blackboard.


A Project Performance mark (15%) is awarded by the Supervisor. This broadly measures how a student performs over Semesters 5 & 6 in their project work


Feedback methods

Students completing a Literature Review can expect to receive formative feedback on an outline/plan plus a short extract (paragraph plus figure). When a Literature Review has been marked, written feedback can be viewed in Blackboard, and verbal feedback will be provided by your supervisor.

All students can expect to receive formative feedback on a full draft of your project report (excluding the discussion), or equivalent (but this will only be forthcoming if dates for obtaining feedback are agreed with supervisors and are met!).

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ruth Grady Unit coordinator
Carol Wakeford Unit coordinator

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