FB1EQ1-Quantitative Skills for Life Sciences

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn, Spring and Summer
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2012/3

Module Convenor: Dr Sandrine Claus

Email: s.p.claus@reading.ac.uk

The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the language of Mathematics and introduce them to the basic use of spread sheet software.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students should be able to:
- operate normal scientific calculators;
- use basic operations in a standard spread sheet software;
- perform basic mathematical calculations using elementary algebra, graphs and calculus;
- use the SI system of units and undertake conversion between SI and other practical systems of units.
- Interpret scientific data using appropriate statistical tools to test correlation and scientific hypotheses.

Additional outcomes:
The students will acquire a knowledge of the quantitative methods used in scientific analysis, and acquire the necessary analytical and numerical skills. Fluency in the use of computers.

Outline content:
Real number system. Use of calculator functions. Units and conversions. Topics in basic algebra. Elements of co-ordinate geometry, straight lines and other graphs. Laws of indices. Logarithms. Simultaneous and quadratic equations. Differential calculus (differentiation of functions using formulae), application of differentiation as a rate measure, maxima and minima, partial differentiation. Integration, interpretation of integration limits, definite integrals. Elementary statistics, averages, probability distributions, hypothesis testing, data correlation, linear regression. Introduction to spread sheets, manipulating data sets using spread sheets, plotting graphs, correlating data and interpreting relevant statistics.

Global context:
Two revision/reinforcement sessions are planned during summer term before the final exam. These sessions are not mandatory but will provide valuable help to students willing to get additional support.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, workshop tutorials and the use of standard computer software, all supported by Blackboard.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Tutorials 27 20 6
Practicals classes and workshops 3
Guided independent study 60 50 14
Total hours by term 100 80 20
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:

Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Practical skills assessment 10
Class test administered by School 20

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework assignments will include 2 assessed problem sheets and a practical exercise based on the use of spreadsheet software. Each assignment will carry 10% marks.
All coursework assignments are held in class. In the autumn term these will occur in week 8 and week 10. In the spring term the assignment is held in week 10.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadine. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    (Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall in all assessed work

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Written examination during the University re-examination period (late August / early September)

    Last updated: 7 May 2012

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