This module is to generate an awareness of how biological research is carried out and reported. This will include an introduction to some of the online tools available for the storage, manipulation and computer visualisation of experimental data. It will describe the final goal of research - a scientific paper - as well as laboratory and data analysis techniques that are commonly used. It is expected that this module will give students skills that they can use in other modules and elsewhere.
Semester: 1 and 2
CATS points: 15 ECTS points: 7.5
Co-ordinator(s): Dr Matthew Bellamy
Pre-requisites and / or co-requisites
Programmes in which this module is compulsory
|Programme||UCAS Code||Programme length|
Aims and objectives
The aim of this module is to generate an awareness of how biological research is carried out and reported, including an introduction to some of the online tools available for the storage, manipulation and computer visualisation of experimental data of the type collected in the biosciences. It will describe the final goal of research - a scientific paper - as well as laboratory and data analysis techniques that are commonly used. It is expected that this module will give students skills that they can use in other modules and elsewhere.
By the end of the module you should be able to:
- search online databases efficiently for scientific literature on specific topics
- use a spreadsheet to perform a simulation of a biological process
- perform and interpret simple descriptive statistics and statistical tests
- interpret and evaluate numerical scientific data
- investigate nucleotide/polypeptide sequences using online bioinformatics tools
- prepare presentation graphics of data and molecular structures
- describe and explain common laboratory techniques for isolation and investigation of biological samples.
Topics covered on this module include: online sources of information and tools; graphical presentation of scientific data; biological units and measurements; the manipulation, analysis and generation of data in spreadsheets (including statistical analysis); introductory bioinformatics; molecular modelling; and an overview of common laboratory techniques for the isolation, visualisation and investigation of biological samples.
Learning and teaching
Study time allocation
Contact hours: 28
Private study hours: 122
Total study time: 150 hours
Teaching and learning methods
The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, group work and self-directed learning using the core textbook, plus online sources of information. There is also a hands-on library workshop covering efficient use of search engines and other skills related to finding information.
Resources and reading list
For resources which are required or useful for the module: set books, text books, data books, software, web sites, other sources of related information.
Practical Skills in Biology - Biology/Zoology degrees
Practical Skills in Biomolecular Sciences - Biochemistry/Biomedical Sciences/Pharmacology degrees
BLAST server and ExPasy tools webpages
|Assessment Method||Summative / Formative||% contribution to final mark||Final element of assessment (√)|
|Project: Bioinformatics analysis||Summative||20%|
|Project: Protein poster||Summative||10%|
|Online Test on lecture material||Summative||35%||√|
|Mathematical modelling of a biological system using Excel||Summative||5%|
|Knowledge database searching test in library workshop||Summative||5%|
|Referencing task and talk (Semester 2)||Summative||5%|
|Typed Essay (Semester 2)||Summative||5%|
|Oral presentation (Semester 2)||Summative||5%|
|Academic Integrity Test||Must be passed||0%|
Depending on whether elements are missing which have led to the failure, those elements may be submitted to reach passing grade overall.