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Laboratory & Professional Skills for Bioscientists - BIO00017C

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Adrian Harrison
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

This module aims to provide a foundation in the laboratory, scientific and transferable skills necessary for students to study, research and communicate topics in Biosciences. The material in this module is designed to equip students with the skills they need for later stages of the course.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19 to Summer Term 2018-19

Module aims

• To introduce laboratory safety and how to assess risk.

• To introduce basic scientific skills such as literature searching, record keeping, liquid handling, laboratory calculations and light microscopy.

• To introduce mathematics and statistics and then show how they can be applied to real experimental data acquired in the module’s practical sessions.

• To perform simple experiments that develop experimental design, data handling and interpretation skills.

• To plan, execute and analyse an experiment relating to antibiotics for which students will submit a report and lab book for assessment.

• To introduce laboratory safety and how to assess risk.

• To Provide a point in the course to offer training in either Maths or Chemistry for students arriving without those skills

Module learning outcomes

• Understand concepts and acquire knowledge in Biological Sciences relating to example topics covered in tutorials.

• Understand an apply chemical and mathematical principles to Biological problems

• Work safely in a laboratory and be aware of potential hazards and their associated risk.

• Competently use basic laboratory equipment, including micropipettes, light microscopes and conduct microbiological experiments aseptically.

• Apply scientific mathematical calculations relating to molarity, SI units, concentrations and dilutions.

• Write well structured, coherent, scientific reorts, keep accurate records, cite literature, appropriately, prepare reference lists, give confident oral presentations and solve numerical problems related to biological processes.

• Appropriately select classical univariate statistical tests and some non-parametric equivalents to a given scenario and recognise when these are not suitable

• Use R to perform these analyses, reproducibly, on data in a variety of formats

• Interpret, report and use R to graphically present the results of covered tests reproducibly

• Design and execute experiments with rigorous scientific controls.


Task Length % of module mark
Practical report
N/A 20
Practical report
N/A 70
N/A 10

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

See formative assessment tasks that are available via the VLE


Task Length % of module mark
Practical report
N/A 20
Practical report
N/A 70

Module feedback

Feedback on your progress is important to your learning process; open and closed assessments in stage 1 are returned to you.

Module marks are made available to both you and your supervisor via your eVision account as soon as the marks are available, by week 6 of the spring term and week 8 of the summer term. You are expected to discuss your performance and progress with your supervisor in your mid-spring term and end of summer term supervisory meetings.

A histogram of all module marks is produced and posted on the examinations notice board outside Biology Student Services.

Specimen answers are posted on the web: by comparing the specimen answers with your own, you should obtain a clear idea of what was expected of you. For each module the markers will also give general feedback on how well the questions were answered and point out any standard errors that students may have made.

Indicative reading

Jones. A., Reed. R. and Weyers. J (2012) Practical Skills in Biology. Pearson

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.