MSC RESEARCH PROJECT

SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMC923492
Module Leader Patricia Martin
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Trimesters
  • C (May start)
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Good honours degree in a relevant discipline

Summary of Content

A subject specific laboratory-based research project will be carried out by the student. Each project has been designed to provide a unique set of skills and knowledge in three key subject areas: cell and molecular biology, pharmacology and microbiology. These laboratory projects involve working individually under the supervision of an allocated supervisor to investigate a research question, while executing, analysing and interpreting experiments individually. This will allow the student to acquire a broad and extensive range of technical skills and expertise in their chosen discipline, which will be useful in the wider context of working in research in academic and industrial settings in the future. Project preparation will give students the opportunity to investigate the background to their research project, as well as providing revision sessions on theory of key techniques and data handling and reporting.

Syllabus

The student will conduct a laboratory-based research project related to their discipline, incorporating a range of appropriate techniques and methodologies to investigate a specific research question. The project will consist of Preparation for Project (in the form of a draft introduction), a minimum of 160 hours for data-generating research, ongoing problem-solving via literature searching and reading during the project and a final oral exam and project thesis.

Learning Outcomes

The project aims to enable students to enhance skills of planning, judgment and evaluation, to develop a range of laboratory skills, resourcefulness in obtaining data and to apply principles of methodological research. On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:o Appraise in depth current information relevant to the topic under investigationo Apply appropriate experimental design and analysiso Apply a programme of investigatory work involving data collection and use appropriate statistical methodologieso Report and defend research findings during oral examinationo Report research in an approved format, which includes a high quality evaluation of the results obtained and which outlines possible approaches for further investigation

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The emphasis of the project will be on independent work and study. Students will work in the laboratory with access to all the necessary research facilities under the direction of an allocated project supervisor. The project supervisor will ensure that there is appropriate direction and depth of approach in the subject being investigated, and provide feedback on assessments and production of the thesis. Each student will carry out a formal 'Preparation for Project' in which they will complete a literature review or scoping exercise. A final thesis will assess students' ability to present and interpret data, and produce a structured report of the research performed, in the format required for submission of a scientific manuscript in their relevant discipline.

Indicative Reading

Johnson, S., Scott, J. (2014) Study and communication skills for the Biosciences. 2 nd edition Oxford University Press Oliver, P. (2013) Writing your thesis. 3rd edition. Sage study skills Berry, R. (2004): The Research Project: How To Write It, 5th edition, Rutledge, London. O'Leary, Z. (2013): The Essential Guide to Doing Research, 2 nd edition. SAGE, London. Walliman, N. (2005): Your Research Project: A Step by Step Guide for the First Time Researcher, 2 nd edition, SAGE, London. Students are also expected to consult current literature on the topic of their project.

Transferrable Skills

A full range of transferable skills will be acquired during the project, including logical planning, information technology/information retrieval, independent study skills, teamwork, laboratory skills, data analysis and written communication and presentation skills. Students will study open-ended problems, with relation to the work-place, and develop research skills relevant to their discipline.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 10.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Practicals (FT) 160.00
Project Prep 40.00
Independent Learning (FT) 330.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 0.25 10.00 45% Oral exam - presentation
Coursework 4 n/a 70.00 45% Thesis (10,000 words) and viva (20 minutes)
Coursework 3 n/a 10.00 45% Demonstration of practical skills in a laboratory setting
Coursework 1 n/a 10.00 45% Preparation for project