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Becoming a Bioscientist: Core Skills - BIO00027C

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Adrian Harrison
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

Becoming a Bioscientist is the first of a series of modules that allow students to develop the necessary skills to be a successful graduate level bioscientist. The module provides a foundation in key skill areas that are built upon during the degree.

1. The core laboratory techniques that are needed in most fields of bioscience
2. Data collection, summary, plotting and interpretation
3. The professional skills involved with being a bioscientist including the presentation of scientific information (report writing, reviewing literature and giving presentations), ethical and safety considerations.

You will also develop your personal management skills such as study skills, problem solving, personal development planning, time management and team skills.

The module is taught through practicals, workshops, tutorials, lectures and independent-study that are integrated together.

The module is assessed by a group poster based on practicals carried out in the second part of the module.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

The module provides students with a foundation in the key skills needed to become a successful bioscientist.

1. Core laboratory techniques in the biosciences
2. Data collection, analysis and interpretation skills
3. Professional skills for the presentation of scientific information:report writing, reviewing literature and giving presentations
4. Ethical and safety responsibilities.
5. Self-management skills: study skills, problem solving, time management, personal development planning and teamwork etc.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

Demonstrate competence carrying out core laboratory techniques following existing protocols and applying good laboratory practice

Explain the key steps of the scientific method and how this is applied to research in the biosciences.

Find, interpret and discuss scientific information from reliable peer reviewed sources.

Methodically record scientific investigations with lab books, organise data and use R to import, summarise and plot simple data sets.

Explain the key features of effective written media for dissemination of scientific information and be able to communicate experimental results through a scientific poster.

Work with others to conduct and communicate experimental results.

Recognise the importance of intellectual honesty, attribution and collegiality for research integrity

Develop personal learning goals and reflect on your progress towards these


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Group Presentation
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Group Presentation
N/A 100

Module feedback

Marks for all summative assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Feedback will be either individual or cohort-level, depending on the assessment format. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

For exam-style summative assessment, model answers will be provided for all questions along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Marks achieved per question will be added to your script.

For coursework assessments (eg. reports or essays) you will receive individual feedback on your work. This will usually be in the form of a feedback sheet that will include suggestions for further improvement.

During the teaching of the module you will receive formative feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Such feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

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.