BIMRS17-Research Seminars

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Sillas Hadjiloucas


Summary module description:

Students will: encounter a range of research ideas and techniques; gain experience in learning from the seminar format; deepen their understanding of the scientific method; communicate more effectively about research; critically assess research and place studies in wider context.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will be able to:
• Describe a range of current research programmes in their preferred field(s) of biology and engineering, and identify the investigators leading these programmes of research.
• Take informative notes during seminars and summarise them effectively.
• Find publications relevant to presented research in the scientific literature.
• Communicate advanced research ideas in a style suitable for a non-specialist.
• Conduct background study through further reading of the primary literature to critically analyse research presented at seminars.

Additional outcomes:
Additional outcomes Students should improve their communication and presentation skills; gain insight as to whether postgraduate research interests them; interact with research scientists. It is also possible they may identify potential PhD supervisors.

Outline content:
Content will vary depending on student choice of seminar topics, but will include cutting-edge primary research in specialist subject areas.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars on primary research in life science topics; independent study to find and understand relevant primary and secondary scientific literature; peer feedback on drafts of written work to improve final version. Introductory lectures, and ongoing guidance where needed, will be provided by the module convenor.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 1 1
Seminars 6 6
Tutorials 1 1
Guided independent study 30 54
Total hours by term 38.00 62.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 20
Report 80

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will submit a one page report within a week of attending each seminar. There will also be five written assignments: • Four 300-word news articles based on the research presented at selected seminars, in a style suitable for e.g New Scientist.
• One 1200-word critical analysis based on a different seminar, placing the presented research in a wider context and if possible suggesting further research.

Formative assessment methods:
Feedback on Autumn term reports will be provided to allow students to develop their skills for Spring term. Opportunities for peer feedback on drafts of written work will be provided at tutorials.

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:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
By examination in August/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: 31 March 2017

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