module specification

BM7115 - Bioethics, Research and Grant Proposal (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25, but may be subject to modification
Module title Bioethics, Research and Grant Proposal
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
200 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Statistical Problems (online)
Coursework 60%   Research Proposal (1500 words)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

The module is designed to provide students with an understanding of skills needed for the planning, organisation and practice of research in science. Bioethical considerations to developing a research project, and proposals for funding such as approaching an organisation for a grant are tacked. Different analytical approaches to problems will be reviewed together with the need to consider statistics and quality control in the design of projects. Students will consider the impact of appropriate safety, ethical and resourcing implications in the design and operation of a project.

Module aims

To provide students with the skills needed to analyse and evaluate published scientific research and to review a variety of statistical tests commonly applied to quantitative data sets, together with  their respective assumptions and outlines of their underpinning theoretical basis. It also aims to consider the impact on scientific research of a variety of issues including safety, ethical and  resourcing implications, funding, data protection and intellectual property rights.


Characteristics of the scientific process; controlled experimentation; types of experimental design.
Communicating scientific ideas; research literature and how to use it.
Principles of data analysis: hypothesis forming and testing; statistical modelling and testing
Developing and managing research projects
Professional codes of practice and ethics; intellectual property; data protection; health and safety.
Finding funding streams and designing grant applications

Learning and teaching

Students will develop a knowledge and understanding of the various aspects of research planning and execution through a series of lectures, tutorials and IT-based practicals. Throughout the module students will be guided towards the use of IT-based approaches to literature searching, data analysis, and the presentation of results, and will be expected to exploit these fully and effectively in their work. Directed  study is provided in the form of practice statistical problems and analyses.

On completion of this module students’ provide an evaluation of how the module allowed them to develop skills such as information technology, organisational skills, team building, communication time management, and working under pressure.

Learning outcomes

  1. Develop a deep and systematic understanding of the principles of experimental design,  including the need for randomisation, replication and control.
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of statistical modelling; identify appropriate tests for a  given dataset; run a variety of statistical tests using a commercially-available software package
  3. Analyse and critically evaluate published research articles; locate literature relevant to a  scientific topic, using appropriate databases and search techniques and develop a robust proposal for research including ethics, health & safety, resourcing, funding, data protection and intellectual property rights.


Where the resource is in the library, the classmark is given in bold. The library contains a large number of texts relevant to all aspects of this module. Those given in the list below are a selection.

For all students:
(i) Research methods and design
Holmes D, Moody P, Dine D. (2006) Research Methods for the Biosciences OUP
Ruxton GD, Colegrave N. (2006) Experimental Design for the Life Sciences. 2nd ed.  OUP

(ii) Statistical methods
Freund JE, Simon GA (2007). Modern Elementary Statistics, 12th edn. Prentice-Hall. 519.5 FRE
McClave JT, Sincich T (2003). Statistics (9th Edition). Prentice Hall. 519.5 MCC
Pelosi MK, Sandifer TM (2003). Elementary Statistics. Wiley. 519.5 PEL

(iii)  Statistics using SPSS/PASW
Field A (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. Sage: London. 519.50285536 FIE 
Kinnear PJ & Grey CD (2009). SPSS Made Simple. Hove: Psychology Press.  005.55 KIN 

For MSc Biomedical Sciences:
Brown BW,  Hollander M (2007). Statistics: A Biomedical Introduction. Wiley.
Corley RB (2005). A Guide to Methods in the Biomedical Sciences. Springer.
Dunn OJ,  Clark VA (2009).  Basic Statistics: A Primer for the Biomedical Sciences. 4th Ed. Wiley
Turgeon ML (2011) Linne & Rinsgrud's Clinical Laboratory Science. 6th Ed. Elsevier