SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code M1C724205
Module Leader Linda Jones
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • 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, 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 build on their skills 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. SI and non-SI unitsQuantities in aqueous solution: moles, molarity, % solutions, ppm pH and buffers dilutions Collecting and storing data Quantitative and qualitative data. Mean, median and mode. Standard deviation and inter quartile range. The reference range. Normal, non-normal and bimodal distribution of data. Questionnaires, Open ended questions, Semi-structured questions. Continuously variable data and categorical data Accuracy and precision in data Sources of error in data collection Presenting data in graphical form Charts, scatterplots and graphs ICT element: IT: Word - tables, tabs, pagination, table of contents, inserting graphs (from Excel) and pictures/diagrams, headers and footers, spellchecking and proof reading. Excel - generating formula, series of data, scaling numbers, creating and modifying graphs PowerPoint or Publisher to create posters File management Plagiarism - using Turnitin, originality checking, submitting drafts and final copies, paraphrasing vs plagiarising Time management - scheduling, meeting deadlines, tracking progress, resourcing Academic writing - How to plan and structure a lab report Oral presentation skills - planning, organisation and delivery Revision & Exam Prep - study skills, how to prepare for a university exam Career tracks - Introduction to personal development, recognising and applying skills and attributes, planning ahead, identifying support/development required, meeting with academic advisor.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Work safely in the laboratory with basic equipment whilst observing Health and Safety and good laboratory practise. (assessed in CW3)2. Demonstrate a range of appropriate basic laboratory skills and techniques. (assessed in CW1 and 3)3. Demonstrate skills associated with data presentation, handling and calculations. (assessed in CW1, 3 and EX01) 4. Use appropriate computer software packages to generate descriptive statistics and apply simple linear regression analysis. (assessed in CW1 and 3)5. Identify personal transferable skills developed during the module. (assessed in CW1, 2, 3 and EX01)6. Illustrate the ability to communicate scientific information appropriately and in a variety of forms. (assessed in CW1, 2, 3 and EX01)

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 to support the analysis and presentation of data generated. Laboratory sessions will ensure that all students are able to observe 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

Blann, A. 2016 2018 Data Handling and analysis. Fundamentals of Biomedical science series Oxford. Bonner P l R and Hargreaves A J, 2011 Basic Bioscience Laboratory Techniques: a pocket guide Wiley- Blackwell. Hawkins, D 2014 Biomeasurement 3rd Edition Oxford. Reed, R., Holmes, D., Wyers, J. and Jones, A. 2016 Practical Skills in Biomolecular Sciences, 5 th Edition. Pearson /Prentice Hall.

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
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 256.00
Practicals (FT) 60.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 02 n/a 20.00 35% Poster and oral (group) presentation
Course Work 01 n/a 40.00 35% Lab Reports
Course Work 03 n/a 0.00 40% Lab Skills Portfolio (Pass/Fail).
Exam (Dept) 01 2.00 40.00 35% Test on numeracy and data handling