MSci Biomedical Sciences

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course unit details:
Human Sciences EDM

Unit code BIOL21061
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


In this Experimental Design Module (EDM) you will participate in practical sessions undertaking a number of widely used modern laboratory techniques. You will develop both your laboratory and your data handling skills in preparation for your Research Skills Module in the next semester. Sessions could include PCR, molecular cloning, clone analysis, bioinformatics, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry, histological tissue staining, ELISA and biostatistics. There may also be an opportunity to conduct human volunteer experiments, e.g. to examine glucose metabolism.


Experimental Design Modules (EDMs) aim to equip students with the skills necessary to become proficient in a number of laboratory techniques that are carried out routinely in modern laboratories. EDMs place an emphasis on the design, data analysis and interpretation of experiments, building the expertise and knowledge that will be required to undertake the appropriate Research Skills Modules offered in Semester 2.

Learning outcomes

This unit will allow students to become proficient in making experimental choices enabling them to make amendments to technical protocols, analysing and critiquing research papers appropriate to the practical and using specialised laboratory equipment and procedures required to obtain data. Many practicals will consist of an element of data handling techniques, including statistical analysis and appropriate presentation of results.


PCR & Molecular Cloning

Clone Analysis


Immunoblotting and Immunohistochemistry

Histological Tissue Staining

Using ELISAs to Measure Hormone Levels

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test


Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students develop analytical and problem-solving skills in order to fulfil the experimental design aspects of each practical.
Group/team working
Many experiments require an element of group work. Most practicals involve students working in pairs.
Designing experimental methodology.
Project management
Project management skills are developed throughout this unit.
Problem solving
As above
Research skills are developed throughout this unit.
Written communication
Practical write-up of one practical.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Practical skills assessment 80%

Students will be assessed using a combination of online and in-lab assessments. In addition, students will be required to complete a full experimental report for one practical as determined by their Programme Director and academic tutor. Marks will be distributed between the assessments (70%) and the full write-up (20%). Attendance at all practical and lecture sessions is compulsory. An attendance mark (10%) will be awarded only if attendance and completion of practicals is judged to be ‘satisfactory’. Satisfactory attendance is defined as attending at least 5 of the 6 practical sessions and obtaining at least 70% for each pre-lab exercise. A mark of at least 40% is required to pass this unit. Failure of this unit will result in a resit assessment.


Feedback methods

During the practical sessions, there will be many opportunities to get immediate feedback from staff and demonstrators. Individual feedback on laboratory reports will be provided by your academic tutor.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 1
Practical classes & workshops 21
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Tracey Speake Unit coordinator

Return to course details