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Research Project - BIO00057M

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Peter Mayhew
  • Credit value: 80 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

In this module students will conduct an extended original piece of individual scientific research related to one or more biological concepts or systems under the supervision of research-active members of academic staff. The module contains taught elements encouraging transferable skills development and employability, both in and outside of the research project work. Students will demonstrate an awareness of the ethical and health/safety implications of their research. Students will critically analyze data and communicate their research findings to an academic audience via a written report which contextualizes their findings and their significance, and in a poster presentation. They will further reflect on the success of their work and their skills and personal development in a short reflective report. Projects may include lab or field work, or may focus on data analysis or computational/theoretical work.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25 to Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module gives students independent, first-hand experience of the research process in a capstone project, during which students will work with a project director to (1) frame their research within the context of existing knowledge, (2) develop and test ideas or hypotheses to explain observations, (3) execute and manage objectives, (4) critically analyse data and reflect on their work and personal development (5) communicate the results of their study with reference to information sources in a project report and poster presentation. Projects will allow students to explore areas of interest across the discipline in Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical sciences, Ecology, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, including projects with a focus on laboratory and field based research and/or data analysis.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

Design and execute a research project

Critically reflect on project development, ethical considerations and the development of personal attributes and skills in the context of the work conducted.

Work effectively, safely and ethically on a research project

Demonstrate the ability to use techniques appropriate to research in the biosciences

Use appropriate methods to critically analyse results

Communicate project background, aims and findings through a written report and oral presentation

Present scientific data appropriately in written and graphical forms


Task Length % of module mark
Project report
N/A 70
Reflective Assessment
N/A 5
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Poster presentation/Oral defence of poster
N/A 25

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Reassessment: Project report
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.