The Natural Sciences degree programme is based on a backbone of modules that employ context-based (also referred to as problem-based or active learning). This approach to learning places significant responsibility on the students to work independently to identify sources of information, to retrieve technical information, to assess information critically and to apply relevant information to a specific task or problem. This module provides students with an introduction to the practice of active learning.
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- How to locate, assess and integrate technical information and knowledge relevant to a given task by accessing a range of information sources (internet, books, journals, technical experts)
- How to construct and deliver written communications in a scientific style whilst integrating published information
- How to develop a structured approach to problem solving/performing a task involving scientific knowledge
- An understanding of ethical conduct in science, covering plagiarism, integrity and governance
The module will start by covering ethics and integrity in science, and will then develop independent learning skills through scientific contexts:
Ethics & Integrity in Science: This first part of the module will address issues of plagiarism, cheating, falsification and reporting within the framework of working in science and technology. It will also cover the specific regulations of the University that relate to ethics and integrity.
Classifying living systems: This part of the module will provide an introduction to the challenge of classifying life and will cover some aspects of the linnean system, phylogenetic taxonomy and molecular phylogenetics. These will enable students to describe and compare the structural and functional organisation of the major kingdoms of Life and explain some of the evolutionary relationships among selected groups. It will entail significant group work and discussion as well as independent reading.
Conservation: This part of the module will provide the first opportunity for students to use the primary research literature to develop detailed technical knowledge in a new area of science. The aim of this part of the module is for students to develop ‘lecture notes’ that give a good overview of the range of microbiomes, their properties and relevance for health & disease and the environment.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
The philosophy underlying this course is to empower students to take charge of their own learning in the natural sciences. As a consequence the module will make extensive use of the directed and peer-assisted selflearning methods that will be employed in all other NATS modules. The module will consist of a small number of ‘traditional' lectures, which will be used to deliver some of the key background knowledge. These lectures will provide a framework of concepts that will enable students to deepen their knowledge of technical aspects through directed reading as well as independent reading.
|Wider reading or practice||22|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||10|
|Completion of assessment task||40|
|Supervised time in studio/workshop||20|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Comprehensive resources (comprising pdf copies of research papers, book chapters etc) are provided on Blackboard at the beginning of the module..
The performance of the students will be assessed through:
- written assignments
Students will be assessed for:
- overall understanding of the application of key scientific and technical concepts
- accessing a wide range of information sources
- understanding and critical evaluation of of research publications and reports
- ability to identify risks and ethical issues
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External