BIMPI12-Research Skills

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Julie Hawkins


Summary module description:

To enhance generic scientific skills in comprehension, communication, data handling, project development and management. To build familiarity with the processes and products of plant diversity science.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students will be able to
• Produce a plan for a research project or for a work placement
• Conduct review of published literature and write an essay
• Produce reports/outputs that demonstrate professional skills

Additional outcomes:
• Knowledge of the elements of a taxonomic revision or monographic account, including fundamentals of nomenclature
• Knowledge of the consultancy process for ecological consultants
• Familiarity with the herbarium and its uses
• Data handling and analysis skills
• Able to carry out health and safety assessments needed to conduct research or field work
• Ability to access and handle plant distribution data, and to use global species databases appropriately
• Ability to design and build a webpage
• Ability to write a key

Outline content:
The module will be taught as two streams. Both streams will develop their skills in literature search and report and proposal writing, including webpage design, to include copyright and IPR issues. Familiarity with Plant Diversity resources including herbaria, the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants and Global Species Databases will be developed. Skills in preparing species maps and writing keys will be acquired. Students will be introduced to GIS and remote sensing.

Stream A:
Professional and research skills for plant taxonomists will be developed through an ongoing, integrated project. This monographic project will include, for a specified plant group,
• the preparation of a BRAHMS database,
• the collection and analysis of morphological character data to delimit and test species
• nomenclatural revision
• the collation of distribution data and the preparation of a map,
• writing of species descriptions and a key
• the presentation of the work in the form of a webpage

Stream B:
Professional skills for ecological consultants that will be developed include
• carrying out a background data search
• preparing a tender for a project proposal
• carrying out a project management exercise
• carrying out an environmental impact assignment

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, seminars and practicals.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 14
Seminars 3
Tutorials 2
Demonstration 10
Practicals classes and workshops 6 8
Guided independent study 62 75
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 15
Report 20
Project output other than dissertation 65

Other information on summative assessment:
Essay (10%)
Project (placement) plan (20%)
Review (5%)
Miniproject (65%)

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Examination in August or September.

Last updated: 30 May 2014

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