BSc Microbiology / Course details
Year of entry: 2020
Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Full year|
|Offered by||School of Biological Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Your final year project is your opportunity to undertake a research project in an area of your interest, whilst potentially contributing to cutting edge scientific research. There are a wide range of project types available:
Laboratory Based Project
Design and carry out a piece of original research in a specialist research laboratory. A recent project tested the effects of anti-viral drugs on reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Field Based Project
Design and carry out a piece of original research in the field. A recent project took place in a conservation area in Peru examining the population of species of Caiman (which are similar to crocodiles).
Carry out research using computers. This may be achieved by running other software, or querying online data resources, or it may be done by designing and writing your own software. A recent project identified the areas of interaction between specific proteins by analysing data on protein structures which is available in a protein database. Interaction between proteins governs the majority of biological processes.
eLearning Project (Separate Unit BIOL31220)
Plan, design, develop, and evaluate an electronic resource to support eLearning.
Education Project (Separate Unit BIOL31220)
Plan, design, develop, and evaluate an electronic resource to support the undergraduate curriculum or work with a school or other educational organisation to design a product such as a practical or educational activity which may be of value in teaching and learning. A recent project involved creating a display at Manchester Museum to teach children about carnivorous plants.
Public Engagement Team Project (Separate Unit BIOL31220)
This is a type of Education project in which students plan, design, deliver and evaluate a public engagement activity that will form part of an event targeted at the general public, such as Big Saturday, to be held in the Manchester Museum or for school children during Bristish Science Week. The members of the team will work together to organise and run the activity, but each will work individually on their own component of it.
Science Media Project (Separate Unit BIOL31320)
Produce a portfolio of communication materials aimed at a range of audiences, including an A Level Review Article, an article suitable for New Scientist (or equivalent), an oral presentation to a scientific audience, and a creative piece, which must be evaluated with reference to the literature in the field.
Centre for History of Science Technology and Medicine Project (Separate Unit XXXXX)
Engage in independent and original research on an aspect of the development of modern science, technology and medicine and/or science communication. A recent project investigated the treatment of postnatal depression in 19th century asylums.
Enterprise Project (Separate Unit BIOLXXXX)Work in a team to develop a business plan for a real product or service in the area of Life Sciences. A recent project was a proposal for provision of a type of DNA microchips that allow for rapid screening of food products and preparation areas for food-borne pathogens.
You can contribute to cutting edge scientific research. Many of our students work alongside our renowned Manchester University
During the final year of your course you will be undertaking project work. You will be allocated one of the following types of projects described above:
Laboratory, field or data-based
• Laboratory or Field Based
Science Communication Projects (SCP)
• e-Learning (ELP)
• Education (EDU)
• Science Media (SMP)
Public Engagement Team project (PET)
Projects with the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (HSTM)
Life Sciences Enterprise Project (LSEP)
Please see the Research Projects & Literature Reviews link on the intranet for further information.
FYPs aim to develop research skills, both bioscience and generic, promote independent learning, enhance the employability of students, and enrich the student experience.
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
- Analytical skills
- Analysis of lab data; analysis of evaluation data (SCP); analysis of project-related resources
- Group/team working
- This will vary depending on the type of project. You may work in a team (LSEP), be part of a lab group, work with other staff (Museum, school or elearning team), and 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 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; experimental lab-based research; research of related work (experiments, resources etc); market research (SCPs & LSEP); using research methods to design experiments and test hypotheses
- Written communication
- You will write a Lit Review and Project Report (or equivalent)
Assessment methods BIOL30030 ONLY For assessment of other project types see relevant unit specifications
• Project output (not diss/n)Project Report (85%)
Your Report 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
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 their project report (except the discussion), or equivalent (but this will only be forthcoming if dates for obtaining feedback are agreed with supervisors and are met!).
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Carol Wakeford||Unit coordinator|