The University of Southampton

BIOL6013 Advanced Research Project

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to allow students to carry out an extensive laboratory-based research project on a specific topic related to his/her main area of study.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to allow students to carry out an extensive laboratory-based research project on a specific topic related to his/her main area of study.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Produce a project on an agreed laboratory-based area of research
  • Design and test scientific hypotheses
  • Design and perform experiments and/or surveys in a chosen area of research
  • Collect, record, analyse, and critically evaluate experimental and/or survey data.


Each student selects an experimental investigation. The project is related to the major subject area of the student in the fourth year. Each student is assigned to an appropriate supervisor who will advise on and direct the project and the preparation of a written report.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Key skills: Your project will focus on a particular scientific problem which you will discuss with your project supervisor. In addition you will have the opportunity to practise and develop several key skills which are common to most topics. These are: • Safety awareness. Risk assessment and COSSH forms will be filled in with your supervisor at the beginning of your project and, where appropriate, these should be bound at the end of your thesis. • Basic laboratory skills. These are an essential part of your practical work and laboratory training. You will be assessed as you do the project and in the final thesis. • Analysis and problem solving. Most projects involve the setting up and testing of hypotheses. Designing suitable experiments is an important part of laboratory work. Data analyses and interpretation are also important. • IT. You will be expected to use word processing packages to present your project, and to use suitable databases in order to obtain background information. • Written communication. Your ability to express yourself in writing is an important part of your thesis presentation. • Oral Communication. You will explain and discuss your results with your supervisor and other members of the research group. At the end of the project you will also present your data in an oral presentation to a panel. • Planning skills. Experimental work requires that you plan an effective and realistic work programme. • Data collection and interpretation. The whole project depends on your ability to collect scientific data and to record these in a suitable fashion. • Teamwork. Your project may be part of a wider research effort and involve interaction with postgraduate and postdoctoral workers. • Time management. Time management skills will be important as you do your practical work alongside the rest of your programme. Bad time management will mean fewer results. Deadlines are also important and should be adhered to. Do not leave the preparation and printing until the last moment. • Study skills. Research projects demand a considerable amount of self-motivation and independent work. • Subject specific skills. You will obviously be expected to learn practical and/or analytical skills which are specific to your research project; many of these will assist you in the world of work.

Supervised time in studio/workshop200
Independent Study400
Total study time600



MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation 100%
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