module specification

BC6P01 - Project (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Project
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
0 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
230 hours Guided independent study
70 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Literature review and project proposal (1500 words)
Coursework 10%   Logbook and portfolio
Coursework 60%   Final report (4000 words)
Coursework 20%   Poster/oral defence (30 mins max)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research.  It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature/meta-analysis of databases or bioinformatics research. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report.
The research project and laboratory skills sessions will enable students to carry out at least 35 hrs on directed competency skills-based activities and an equal amount of time on independent work-related learning activities on various themes approved in conjuction with the School Employer Liasion Board. In addition students will spend 230 hours on project-related activities

This module aims to encourage the student to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by means of a specific investigation requiring significant research; develop the skills necessary to plan, carry out, analyse and report upon the results of an experimental or analytical programme on a scientific topic; allow the student to demonstrate that s/he has achieved a high level of personal development through working  independently with the minimum necessary supervision; allow the student to demonstrate their understanding and application of safe and considerate working practices, particularly within the laboratory.
In addition the module will also encourage students to develop professional work-related learning skills through the competencies skills sessions which have been developed to map to and are responsive to employers requirements.

Prior learning requirements

Completion of level 5


Students will reflect upon their scientific background and intended academic outcome in choosing the subject for their project. Students carry out an experimental project, preceded by an appropriate directed literature survey, within an area of staff expertise in the School of Human Sciences on a theme agreed with industry specialists including the School Employer Liason Board. Although students are expected to work independently throughout most of the project, the initial stage will be under direct supervision as they attain sufficient skills and knowledge to succeed in the later stages. LO1,LO2,LO4,LO5

All students will undertake eight weeks of professional and work-related skills sessions where they will complete relevant IBMS and professional biosciences recommended, employer ratified competencies. Subsequent to this students will do one of the following: LO2,LO4,LO5

Practical work:  Application of scientific knowledge and experimental skills to the design and execution of a subject-based practical project. LO2,LO4
Literature/meta-analysis or database analysis or Bioinformatics project: Application of scientific knowledge and research skills to the design and execution of a relevant professional subject-based dissertation or meta-analysis. (Biomedical Science students MUST include elements of data handling and scienctific analysis) LO1,LO2,LO5

Analysis, appraisal and presentation of the results. Work will be communicated both as a log book, fully documented scientific reports and the reflective personal statement. LO3,LO6,LO7

Students are provided with the opportunity to develop employability skills and key professional-employer-ratified competencies both in the compulsory Skills sessions and whilst working on an independent laboratory or literature data analysis-based research project. Students will spend at least seventy hours on work-related learning activities. Activities are based on recommendations from the IBMS, the HCPC and employers, (including: safety and good lab practice, standard techniques, data handling and data mining). Work-related learning skills will be demonstrated and assessed by completion of an competency portfolio, reflective graduate statement and CV together with a formal dissertation based on their research project and an oral defence/poster presentation of their project.
A work-related learning Employer Liaison Board of employers, academics and technical staff will agree the range of themes of the projects as well as and the students’ technical skills competency portfolio to ensure these are relevant to current professional and employer requirements and standards. Employer board members and the external examiner will be invited to the students’ oral defence/poster presentations and prize giving.

The research programme will be carried out in consultation with a supervisor who will normally be an academic staff member of the School of Human Sciences. LO4,LO6,LO7

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be guided in the use of directed reading and other learning resources in order to seek, handle and interpret information. In the written report, they will be required to produce a synthesis of their own and published findings.
Students will be guided through a period where they select and gain the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake their research topic. Then, students will work as individuals on the design and execution of their projects.  They will be encouraged to think critically about their findings and, where appropriate, to provide solutions through the design of related experiments or alternative approaches to research.
Students will be given the opportunity to develop their presentational and professional self-reflective skills to enable them to further enhance personal, career and academic development and identify future skill and knowledge development needs.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Analyse appropriate background information on a particular scientific topic and use this to plan a programme of work directed to a specific aim.
2. Establish a plan of work, then evaluate and modify it as necessary in response to analysis of results.
3. Defend the work undertaken and its written presentation.
4. Work safely with due regard to the Department's Codes of Practice (practical work only)
5. Reflect upon the outcomes of the work and, using scientific creativity, propose additional research desirable to further clarify the area, and critically reflect upon how the experience relates to their personal, career and academic development and identify future skill and knowledge development needs. 
6. Present a written report of the project in an appropriate scientific form that analyses and evaluates the work and corresponds to one of the themes agreed in conjunction with Professional specialists including the School Employer Liasion Board
7. Summarise their skills development through recording these and updating their reflective personal statement, keeping a logbook that records the developmental aspects and results of their project and producing  a CV and letter of application

Assessment strategy

The students are assessed by their supervisor on a continual basis by means of the literature review and project proposal (10% of overall mark). This course work component will be used to provide formative feedback and summative assessment.
Students are also formatively assessed through their completion of the Employer Liason (along with other biosciences professionals) approved professional work-related compentencies.
Their summative assessment also includes the production of a research/work-related  logbook(10% of overall mark), taking into account the student’s ability as an experimentalist/researcher, the ability to plan and reflect upon his/her work, and the general level of industry and initiative. This will also include their self-reflective graduate statement, CV and letter of application for a relevant job.
The final report which contains (60% of overall mark) is assessed independently by at least two members of staff, excluding the project supervisor. In awarding a mark the examiner takes into account the achievement of the student in terms of the results obtained, the clarity of presentation and layout, and the standard of the discussion including the students consideration of the wider context of the investigation. If the two marks differ significantly, the final report is reassessed by a third examiner. An oral defence/poster presentation (20% of overall mark) assesses the students ability to give a verbal account of his/her work, to think and reflect critically on the work, and to communicate effectively.

The PDP/work-related learning element of the project will be asessed by means of the portfolio of employer liasion board agreed competencies (where the development of specific technical skills is recorded), the logbook (through the self-reflective graduation statement, CV and letter of application for a relevant job) and the poster presentation (which allows the student to demonstrate appropriate professional standards)

To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.


Core Text: Barnard, C., Gilbert, F., and McGregor, P.  (2016).  Asking Questions in Biology: Design, Analysis and Presentation in Practical Work. 4th Revised edition. Longman Group Limited. (Core)
Davis, M.  (2005).  Scientific Papers and Presentations. 2nd edition. Academic Press.
Durrant A, Rhodes G, Young D. (2011) Getting started with university-level work based learning, 2nd edition, Libri Publishing, London (Core)
Holmes, D; Moody,P and Dine, D (2016). Research Methods for the Biosciences. Oxford University Press.
Moon J. (2004) A Handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice Routledge. London
Moore, D.S. and McCabe, G.P (2003) Introduction to the Practice of Statistics (4th Edition). Freeman.
Reed, R; Holmes, D; Weyers, J and Jones, A (2016). Practical Skills in Biomolecular Sciences (3rd Edition). Pearson Prentice Hall
Trought F. (2012) Brilliant employability skills. Prentice Hall. Harlow