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MSci Zoology / Course details
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
MSci Experimental Skills Module
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||School of Biological Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Students will complete a group research project within this unit. They will be placed in groups and will be given an experimental problem that is appropriate to their degree. The group will be expected to design the appropriate experiments to test the problem, execute the experiments and then present their findings in a form appropriate for this kind of research.
The experiments will be planned as a group with the support of a member of academic staff. Students will be expected to explore the range of different approaches available, select the most appropriate approach and plan the suitable controls. It is planned that these approaches will involve current research techniques that are supported within the Faculty. The students will then perform experimental work in small teams or pairs within their group to execute their part of the experimental plan. The expectation is that the group as a whole will perform a range of experiments that complement each other to address the problem.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|MSci Project Literature Review and Research Proposal||BIOL33000||Co-Requisite||Compulsory|
The unit aims to increase the students understanding of the following:
• Experimental design
• Team working in a research environment
• Practical skills associated with current approaches in life science research
• Data analysis and interpretation using multiple experimental approaches and lines of evidence
To be able to analyse complex processes at cellular, whole organism or ecosystem levels.
To be able to design experimental approaches to ask questions regarding these complex
To acquire experience of current life science methodologies appropriate to their strand.
To be able to interpret complex experimental results, obtained using diverse approaches.
To interpret multiple lines of evidence to test a hypothesis.
To be able to present their results in ways appropriate to the relevant scientific community.
Teaching and learning methods
- Small group tutorials for planning and experimental design.
- Group based learning approaches to develop ideas for the experimental approach.
- Practical sessions in labs or field.
- Possible development of eLearning resources for different experimental techniques to support the learning process.
Knowledge and understanding
- Analyse complex processes at cellular, whole organism or ecosystem levels.
- Design experimental approaches to ask these questions.
- Design and interpret complex experiments, using diverse approaches.
- Interpret multiple lines of evidence to test a hypothesis.
- Acquire experience of current life science methodologies appropriate to their assigned project.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Team work.
- Problem solving.
- Data presentation.
- Project management.
- Time management.
- Analytical skills
- Critical appraisal of research papers
- Project management
- To be able to work in a group to meet deadlines for written and experimental work.
- Problem solving
- Planning of experimental strategies to test a specific hypothesis
- Learning experimental techniques and applying these to achieve your planned goals
- Written communication
- Scientific writing skills preparing a paper and a poster
A two page Experimental Plan describing the scientific background to the topic, the question to be addressed and the approach to be used to address it (15%). A five page Practical Write-up of the results obtained by the group, presenting data in an appropriate style for publication along with a short introduction and discussion (45%). This component can also include deposition of data into an appropriate database. Performance within the tutorials and laboratory sessions (10%). Preparation of a group A1 poster that is suitable for an international scientific conference (20%) A ten minute presentation (with an additional five minutes question time) of the poster to the academic assessors as an individual at a poster session for all MSci students (10%).
You will obtain feedback on:
• Experimental Plan via Grademark and from academic staff.
• Practical Write-up via Grademark.
• Group Poster via Grademarkand from academic staff.
• Poster Presentation at the MSci Poster Presentation Session.
Specific review articles and research papers relevant to the research topic.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Practical classes & workshops||36|
|Independent study hours|
|Andrew Gilmore||Unit coordinator|