SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code M1C723912
Module Leader Steven Patterson
School INTO
Subject INTO
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module sets out to introduce students to the core discipline and subject specific practical and transferable skills associated with laboratory practice. The module will introduce students to good laboratory practice and core Health and Safety Policies. A range of fundamental practical skills including pipetting, solution preparation, spectrophotometry and microscopy, will be introduced and developed with emphasis on ensuring students gain a basic level of competence in these core skills. A range of key related transferable skills such as scientific communication, moral and ethical considerations, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and the basic numeracy and statistical skills required for biosciences will be introduced. Time management skills, scientific writing, and use of originality reports will be introduced and developed throughout the module.


Laboratory programme A range of laboratory exercises will be included to introduce and develop practical laboratory skills, good laboratory practice, and to illustrate range of scientific methods. During the laboratory programme students will be required to practically demonstrate a basic level of competence in these core techniques. As part of the laboratory programme students will consolidate the acquired skills as they undertake a mini-project designed to develop an understanding of the scientific methods and to develop their data analysis and scientific communication skills. The laboratory syllabus will incorporate practical sessions covering: -359? Introductory Microscopy and Micrometry ? Pipetting and spectrophotometry ? Preparation of solutions and buffers ? Bioassays ? Separation of biological compounds ? DNA isolation ? Membrane Permeability ? Factors affecting Enzyme Activity ? Measurement of Rates of Cell Reactions -360 Numeracy and data handling Handling data. -360b7 SI and non-SI unitsQuantities in aqueous solution: moles, molarity, % solutions, ppm b7 pH and buffers b7 dilutions b7 Collecting and storing data Quantitative and qualitative data. -360b7 Mean, median and mode. Standard deviation and inter quartile range. The reference range. Normal, non-normal and bimodal distribution of data. b7 Questionnaires, Open ended questions, Semi-structured questions. b7 Continuously variable data and categorical data Accuracy and precision in data -360b7 Sources of error in data collection Presenting data in graphical form -360b7 Charts, scatterplots and graphs ICT element: IT: -360b7 Word - tables, tabs, pagination, table of contents, inserting graphs (from Excel) and pictures/diagrams, headers and footers, spellchecking and proof reading85 b7 Excel - generating formula, series of data, scaling numbers, creating and modifying graphs b7 PowerPoint - creating slides and handouts, animation, slide transition, inserting charts, tables, diagrams from Word and Excel b7 Publisher - creating posters, leaflets b7 File management Plagiarism - using Turnitin, originality checking, submitting drafts and final copies, paraphrasing vs plagiarising Time management - scheduling, meeting deadlines, tracking progress, resourcing85 Academic writing - How to plan and structure an essay, lab report85 Oral presentation skills - planning, organisation and delivery Revision & Exam Prep - study skills, how to prepare for a university exam PDP - Intro to PDP, recognising and applying skills and attributes, planning ahead, identifying support/development required, meeting with academic advisor, PPACT.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Recognize the importance of Health and Safety regulations in the laboratory situation;2. Safely and accurately use core items of laboratory equipment3. Demonstrate appropriate laboratory skills including solution preparation, spectrophotometry, assay techniques, enzyme kinetics techniques, basic molecular biology and separation techniques4. Record experimental data and present them graphically and calculate summary descriptive statistics5. Apply simple linear regression analysis6. Use statistical, graphing and tabulating software packages to aid the analysis, interpretation and presentation of experimental data7. Apply IT skills associated with data presentation;8. List personal transferable skills such as teamwork and independent learning developed during the module;9. Communicate scientific information appropriately and in a variety of forms including written and oral presentation.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is primarily designed to develop core laboratory practical and associated transferable skills. Teaching will take the form of lectures and seminars on transferrable skills and numeracy and predominantly laboratory sessions with associated tutorials (predominantly online) to support the analysis and presentation of data generated. Laboratory sessions will ensure that all students are able to underline core lab health and safety policies and develop a basic core level of competence in discipline specific practical skills. Online, audio-visual, multimedia resources, and textbooks will be used to reinforce and underpin the laboratory programme. During the laboratory programme students will be required to practically demonstrate a basic level of competence in these core techniques. The support tutorials will be closely linked to the laboratory programme and will involve students accessing a variety of online resources, completing regular online formative assessments and working on a core skills portfolio which will be developed upon as they progress through their programme of study.

Indicative Reading

-400 1. Reed, R., Holmes, D., Weyes, J. and Jones, A. 2013 Practical Skills in Biomolecular Sciences, 4 th Edition. Pearson /Prentice Hall. 2. Blann, A. 2015 Data Handling and analysis Oxford 9780199667918 3. Hawkins, D 2014 Biomeasurement 3 rd Edition Oxford 9780199650446

Transferrable Skills

The student will acquire and develop both laboratory and personal transferable (PT) skills. Laboratory skills such as good laboratory practice, the planning and execution of laboratory procedures, accuracy and reproducibility, and the effective analysis, interpretation and presentation of data are developed. Technical ability in liquid handling, solution preparation, spectrophotometry, calibration curve preparation, assay techniques, separation techniques and basic molecular biology and enzyme kinetics techniques will be developed. Numerical competence and statistics will be developed in the analysis of data. Transferable skills such as effective written and oral communication, numeracy, problem solving, information technology, independent study and team work are all integral components of the module. Students will develop organisational, independent study and communication skills in preparing an oral presentation and completing a project planning exercise. Interpretation and presentation of data will be performed in lab proformas, lab reports, and data analysis exercises. The practical sessions will allow students to develop the ability to work both individually and in small groups. There will be considerable emphasis placed on developing the core analytical skills required for the range of Bioscience disciplines.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 60.00
Independent Learning (FT) 256.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 3 n/a 0.00 35% Lab Skills Portfolio
Coursework 2 n/a 20.00 35% Poster and oral (group) presentation
Coursework 1 n/a 60.00 35% Lab Reports
Exam (Dept) 01 1.00 20.00 35% Test on numeracy and data handling