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: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Alastair Culham


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 a review of published literature and write an essay
• Produce reports/outputs that demonstrate professional skills
• Communicate to a professional audience through use of social media and other web 2.0 tools

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 write a key

Outline content:
The module will be taught as two interlocking 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 writing and/or using keys will be acquired.

Global context:
Students will become part of the Global scientific and consultancy community through reading published work (both scientific and other professional) and through establishing a public communication base via twitter or other appropriate social media.

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
Report 20
Portfolio 20
Project output other than dissertation 60

Other information on summative assessment:
Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:
Class discussion and feedback sessions, peer learning.

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:
Submission of new assignments in August or September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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