The University of Southampton
Courses

BIOL6068 MRes Advanced Biological Sciences Research Project

Module Overview

This module provides two-thirds of the content for the MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences programme. Each student undertakes an extensive research project which is laboratory and/or fieldwork based, depending on the specialisation chosen: • Biodiversity, Ecology and Ecosystem services • Biotechnology • Developmental Biology • Microbiology • Neuroscience • Molecular and Cellular Biosciences • Plant Biology Each student is assigned to an appropriate supervisor who will advise on and direct the project and the preparation of a written dissertation.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to allow students to carry out an extensive research project on a special topic related to his/her main area of specialisation, and to produce a dissertation on this area of research. Students have the opportunity for original and independent (supported) research which can produce work of publishable quality. Specifically this module will: • Provide the means to carry out an extensive laboratory-based project on a specific topic related to the specialist area; • Provide advanced knowledge in a particular area within the field of biological sciences research; • Provide an opportunity to work in a research environment in state-of- the art laboratories • Provide training in biological laboratory skills; • Provide an opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills (written and oral communication, time management, project management, team working, information and communication technology, data collection and analysis); • Provide awareness of good laboratory practice and safety issues in a modern research laboratory. • Contribute to providing a sound and suitable qualification that would enable procession to a more specialist higher degree at the PhD level or a career in biological sciences

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Plan and complete a research project within a fixed time period.
  • Produce a dissertation on an agreed research-based project;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the scientific and technological principles underlying the chosen research specialisation;
  • Understanding how to design and test scientific hypotheses;
  • Address and develop strategies to resolve a research problem in the chosen specialist area;
  • Demonstrate skills in critical evaluation of primary and review scientific literature and the ability to develop this knowledge and understanding in relation to the chosen area of research;
  • Show experience in presenting scientific information;
  • Demonstrate ability to collect, record and critically evaluate data;
  • Have a knowledge of general IT methodology relating to the area to find relevant information

Syllabus

This contributes to the research-based component of the MRes in Advanced Biological Sciences. You will carry out an extensive laboratory-based project on a topic related to the specialised area. You will plan the project with the support of your academic research supervisor. Initially you will carry out a preliminary review of the literature in the area of research to help you plan the overall objectives and build on the current level of knowledge in the area of research. This will give you the opportunity of producing results that would be of a standard to publish in peer reviewed journals. You will present an overview containing these elements at an early stage to your project supervisor and then have regular contact throughout the remainder of the project. This will include providing a regular summary of research finding to the supervisor. A detailed plan of the final dissertation will be presented to the supervisor three quarters of the way through the project and feedback provided by the supervisor in how to structure the final dissertation.

Special Features

• Design, conduct and write-up a research project under supervision. • Place the background to your project and its results into the context of the wider scientific literature. • Present a coherent written description of your project in your own words and style. • Synthesise information from several different sources. • Use data and other information properly to support your arguments.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Practical work and individual study

TypeHours
Independent Study1100
Project supervision100
Total study time1200

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation 100%
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