BSc Biomedical Sciences with Industrial/Professional Experience

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Science Communication Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code BIOL31220
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

These projects involve communication of science using a particular mode (written, oral, online etc) to a specific audience/target group. Support is provided in a dedicated series of seminars and workshops throughout Semester 5 to help develop the appropriate skills, including those associated with the use of technology. 
All SCPs require the creation of a resource such as a teaching activity/ online resource /creative piece, which is then evaluated for its impact on the target audience.

Aims

During the final year students will be allocated to one of the project types described above, and will undertake project work in a topic and manner agreed by their supervisor. The Projects aim to develop research skills, both bioscience and generic, promote independent learning, enhance the employability of students, and enrich the student experience.

Learning outcomes

  • 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 and/or to supervisor)
  • Liaise with supervisor, other staff and students, as appropriate
  • Acquire additional project-specific skills as appropriate (such as various lab or IT skills)

Syllabus

Projects are worth 40 credits. Students will be allocated a supervisor in the first semester of the final year. Students are advised to contact their allocated supervisor as soon as possible; supervisors will discuss the type of project with the student and the bioscience topic on which it is based. 

Semester 5: students explore a bioscience topic area as directed by the supervisor, and receive formative written feedback on a written 4-page ‘Focused Study on Bioscience’ and an informal discussion (oral presentation) based on this piece. This piece of work will form the introduction to the main report in Semester 6.There may be supporting seminars to attend in this semester for some of the project types.

Semester 6: project work 
Project work takes place within this semester weeks 1-9. Students should aim to finish project work by the Easter break to leave time to analyse results and write up the report.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analysis of evaluation data relating to your project resource; analysis of other project-related resources (during market research, for example)
Group/team working
This will vary depending on the type and nature of your project. You may work with another student or small team on the same topic, work with other staff (Museum, school or elearning team), and you should support your colleagues
Innovation/creativity
In the design and evaluation of your project work
Leadership
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 challenges; 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
Research the literature; research of related work (experiments, resources etc); market research; use research methods to design experiments and test hypotheses
Written communication
You will write a Lit Review and Project Report (or equivalent)

Assessment methods

15 % of unit mark: Understanding of bioscience research (Semester 5; short written and oral piece of work; Supervisor and moderator)

  • Written ability to communicate science accurately/in depth (supervisor only)
  • Oral ability to communicate science accurately/in depth (supervisor and moderator)
  • Ability to answer questions about the science (supervisor and moderator)

Final report and separate resource if appropriate (Semester 6; Supervisor and moderator)

o    60% of unit mark Science Communication Output Report Type A (17 pages): Abstract (0.5 page); Introduction to the bioscience which could be taken from the semester 1 work, and include an introduction to science communication and aims (4 pages) ; methods (3 pages); results (4 pages) and discussion (4 pages); personal reflection (1 page) PLUS 15% of unit mark for the creative resource output
OR
o    60% of unit mark Science Communication Output Report Type B  (17 pages): Abstract (0.5 page); Introduction to the bioscience which could be taken from the semester 1 work, and include an introduction to science communication and aims (4 pages); A Level Review article OR NS piece (3 pages); methods (2 pages); results (3 pages) and discussion (3 pages); personal reflection (1 page) PLUS 15% of unit mark for the creative resource output


10% of unit mark: Project performance (Semester 6; Supervisor only)

  • Use of initiative
  • Student input to planning & design of the project
  • Mastery of skills (if appropriate)
  • Organisation of work
  • Communication with supervisor, team, other staff etc
  • Reliability, effort & persistence
  • Completion of Ethics Survey

 

 

Feedback methods

  • Students will receive formative feedback on the Semester 5 Focused Study on Bioscience. This piece of work may then form the introduction to the main report in Semester 6
  • Students can expect to receive formative feedback on 1 page of methods and 1 page results prior to submission of the Semester 6 report. Supervisors can comment on the Introduction to Science Communication and the New Scientist or ALR piece prior to submission where offered
  • Feedback will only be forthcoming if dates for obtaining feedback are agreed with supervisors and are met

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 40
Independent study hours
Independent study 360

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ruth Grady Unit coordinator

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