SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MMD623605
Module Leader Janice Taylor
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Good honours degree in a relevant subject.

Summary of Content

The project and workshop are key features of the MSc provision, intended to develop independent thought via the application of theoretical principles studied during the course. All students will complete a food science related workshop, that combines theory and practice in a week-long linked series of experiments, and study a research project designed to increase their understanding, practical skills and deep understanding of the area under investigation.


The workshop will cover commonly used techniques in food industry in a linked series of experiments, including: nutritional analysis, microbiological analysis and molecular techniques. Statistical techniques will also form an important part of this training. The project will consist of 40h for Preparation for Project, a minimum of 80h for data-generating research, 80h for writing up the project thesis and preparation of the poster presentation, and 80h for independent student effort, including ongoing problem-solving via literature searching and reading during the project. The nature of the project, and supervisors' commitments, will determine the schedule of the research; regular meetings will be held and documented to discuss the progress of the research, its preparation for presentation and preparation of the thesis. Oral presentations of e-posters, detailing the key findings of the research, will be held and will cover the background to the project, the aims and objectives and how these were achieved. The talks will be organized within appropriate subject areas, and be presented to groups of their peers and academic staff. Preparation for project, presentations and thesis submissions will be formally assessed by the supervisor and a second marker. Poster presentations, attended by external examiners, will also be held just before the Assessment Board.

Learning Outcomes

The project aims to enable students to work independently, while enhancing skills of planning, judgment and evaluation, to develop resourcefulness in obtaining data and to apply principles of methodological research.On successful completion of the module the students should be able to:1. Understand and be able to apply molecular biological techniques2. Review current information relevant to the topic under discussion, and consider aspects relating to health and safety, and ethics, governing the investigation of that topic3. Prepare a statement defining the nature and parameters of the problem4. Carry out a programme of investigatory work, including data collection5. Communicate their results and outcomes via oral presentation of a poster6. Write a structured report of the research in an approved format, which includes statistical evaluations and interpretations of the results obtained within the context of other literature in the field.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The workshop is designed to provide experience of the major techniques used in the analysis of food which are critical to ensuring employability; students will work individually, recording their findings in laboratory book. Assessments of both theoretical and practical elements of the workshop are by MCQ and oral examinations. The workshop will also include the statistical skills required to interpret the significance of biological data. For their individual research, projects will be selected from a number of options, designed to enhance their investigative and analytical skills, and independent thought, through applied research. As required under each of the benchmark and/or accreditation statements governing the degree under study, the project will require students to consider the health and safety implications, and the ethical dimensions of the proposed study, and to carry out an independent investigation, based on laboratory work and data collection. In each case, the project will be research or inquiry based, requiring analysis of data and accurate record-keeping, and representing an extended piece of work underpinned by relevant sources. The study will utilise defined methodologies appropriate to the project type which can be justified, and allow the student to synthesize conclusions and provide ideas for future research. Each student will carry out a formal 'Preparation for Project' in which they will complete a literature review or scoping exercise, define the methodologies to be used, and complete risk assessments and/or submissions for ethical approval. Preparation of an 'e-poster' for oral presentation based on the results of their research will combine key elements of training for the workplace which the students have received in previous years; students will be required to draw upon and improve presentation skills, prepare a poster in Powerpoint, select content for inclusion, and communicate key points of their investigations. Students will give constructive feedback on each others' work, fostering broader and deeper learning; they will also experience questioning from their supervisors, other members of academic staff and external examiners, as appropriate. The thesis preparation will draw on students' training in previous years, in calculations, presentation and interpretation of data. Students will produce and submit a structured report of the research performed, in the format required for submission of a scientific journal article in their relevant discipline, including Abstract, Introduction, Methods and statistical analyses, Results and Discussion, and be appropriately referenced.

Indicative Reading

As guided by each project supervisor, and dictated by the nature of the investigations undertaken. Students are expected to access both review articles and primary literature in their area of study <> . <>

Transferrable Skills

Students will study open-ended problems and develop research skills relevant to their discipline, as well as IT, document retrieval and a range of molecular biology skills. Both project and workshop will foster increased experimental skills, data analysis and interpretation of results, time management and organisation, communication and presentation of outcomes.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Practicals (FT) 155.00
Independent Learning (FT) 115.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 20.00 45% Workshop.
Course Work 02 n/a 20.00 45% Prep for project and poster.
Course Work 03 n/a 60.00 45% Thesis