module specification

PR3001 - Scientific Studies (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Scientific Studies
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
66 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
214 hours Guided independent study
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 16%   Progress test 1
In-Course Test 16%   Progress test 2
In-Course Test 16%   Progress test 3
Coursework 52%   8 Practical data sheets
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance at practicals
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module will be introducing you to the basic mathematical concepts needed to succeed on any science degree course, and also train you in essential scientific laboratory techniques designed to support and reinforce theoretical syllabus content. The practical section will emphasize safe practice in the laboratory environment. The mathematics section will be taught using calculations relevant to biology and chemistry to encourage connections between disciplines to be made. Supporting material will be available on-line; tutorial sessions will focus on practising mathematical techniques. Formative online pre-laboratory session questions will prepare the students in advance for the practical in question. Formative exercises will be carried out during tutorial sessions to reinforce the lecture material.

Prior learning requirements

Study Abroad: No


Operations in arithmetic including definitions signs, terms and symbols.  Accuracy in calculations, rounding numbers, the use of a calculator and its various functions within this context.  The use of scientific notation and what this represents.  An introduction to units and conversion between units will be covered.  An introduction to simple algebra will be taught within the context of the chemical and biological sciences. (LOs 1-2)


During practical sessions, students will cover: Introductory techniques; protein assay, a study of osmosis, thin layer chromatography, DNA extraction, introductory microbiology, titration, and purification of a chemical compound. Within these sessions, students will be using calculations relating to concentration and dilution, making graphical presentations of data, handling/manipulating chemical and biological materials, isolating and purifying chemicals and biomolecules, determining elemental composition, and learning about volumetric analysis.
Training will be given in the use of simple laboratory equipment, coarse and accurate balances, glassware, centrifuge, light microscope, and automatic pipettes, laboratory safety and practice, data collection and recording, scientific style, contemporary recording of practical procedures, data and observations, discussion of and conclusions drawn from experimental data, time management, writing and studying skills. (LOs 2-5)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching will be delivered through lectures (24 hours), tutorials (12 hours), and practical classes (32 hours). Self managed time and private study: 214 hours.  Lectures are used to introduce the basic concepts required to achieve the learning outcomes.  Tutorial sessions  are either problem-directed or discussion-based, designed to work through, and expand on, material delivered in lectures. Students will be expected to prepare for tutorial sessions by reviewing appropriate material and devoting sometime to problem-solving exercises. Laboratory sessions will allow students to become familiar with essential laboratory techniques and with related health and safety issues.

The module is supported by a website on WebLearn which icludes a number of electronic learning aids. Students would be expected to use the site for assisted study.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Solve mathematical problems; use a scientific calculator confidently.
2. Process and represent data in a graphical context.
3. Be aware of how to work in a laboratory environment particularly with regard to personal safety and that of others.
4. Assemble and use simple laboratory apparatus.
5. Collect, record and analyse scientific data from an experiment in an appropriate scientific style.

Assessment strategy

This module will be summatively assessed using three mathematics progress tests (48%) and a laboratory book portfolio of 8 practical datasheets (52%).  There will be formative exercises for the students to complete on a weekly basis during the tutorial sessions. Online pre-lab questions will be formative towards the practical to be carried out.

To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%, and to attended a minimum of five practicals.


PR3001 reading list