SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3C926373
Module Leader Adrian Pierotti
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

SCQF 8 in Biological Sciences or similar subject

Summary of Content

The module will foster the abilities to plan experiments, to interpret the results and to present findings in the format of scientific paper by combining a lecture and seminar programme that illustrates data analysis techniques and presentation styles with laboratories that develop the skills to design and execute an experimental programme as part of a team.


Lecture & tutorial programme Literature searching and use of appropriate software for reference management Preparation of Risk Assessments Experimental design: hypotheses and research questions; the role of controls Presentation and description of data Analysis of data from classic experiments Critical comparison of two scientific papers Structuring a scientific report Research Ethics GLP/GMP, regulatory affairs Laboratory programme: An extended laboratory practical focused on reinforcing practical skills by: preparing key reagents making informed choices in the design of the experiment through accessing a set of SOP's maintaining a detailed lab book using appropriate data analysis and presentation techniques preparing a report in the style of a scientific paper

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Critique the essential principles of experimental design2. Consider the issues surrounding research ethics and regulatory processes governing bioscience research3. Recognise the importance of accuracy, reproducibility and documentation in laboratory work4. Plan and implement a laboratory research programme5. Operate successfully in a team working environment6. Prepare appropriate regulatory documentation related to an experimental work programme7. Appraise, interpret and present data in an appropriate format8.. Construct a report to a given specification

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Lectures and seminars will be used to demonstrate approaches to data analysis and interpretation and small group, interactive and online exercises will allow students to become proficient in these skills. Structured open-ended laboratory sessions will allow students to design experiments and select appropriate protocols to achieve the experimental aims. Students will work in small groups and will be expected to keep accurate records using an online electronic lab book and manage their own work plan. Students will be supported in team working by utilising various tools available via the careers service. Experimental results will then be presented to specification, in the form of a scientific paper supported by tutorials from Learning Development Centre and academic staff.

Indicative Reading

Ruxton, G.D. & Colegrave, N. Experimental design for the life sciences 4 th Edition (2016) Oxford. Holmes, D., Moody, P., Dine D. & Trueman, L. Research methods for the Biosciences 3rd Edition (2016) Oxford Glass, D.J. Experimental Design for Biologists 2 nd Edition (2014) CSH Press.

Transferrable Skills

Project management and problem solving. Constructing a written report to a given specification. Working in Teams.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Lectures (FT) 10.00
Tutorials (FT) 5.00
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00
Practicals (FT) 40.00
Seminars (FT) 5.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 35.00 35% Data Analysis
Course Work 02 n/a 65.00 35% Lab Activity Portfolio and Report (3000 words)