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Unit information: Dissertation in 2021/22

Unit name Dissertation
Unit code BIOCM0005
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. James
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Biochemistry
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The Unit consists of a 7,000 word Dissertation to be completed in the form of a Thesis. The Dissertation is designed to be read in conjunction with a 3,000 word Project proposal which summarises the background to the project and is assessed separately. The Introduction to the Dissertation is therefore limited to 500 words. The Dissertation is based on a 12-week research project carried out by the student on a subject of the student’s own choosing taken from a list supplied by the Programme Director. Each School will provide a number of Research Project topics and a list of related references. Each student will work independently to complete their Research Project and Dissertation.


To provide experience in the acquisition and analysis of experimental data.

To provide experience in the use of computer skills including word processing and data presentation packages.

To foster individual work, demonstrating organisation and time management.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Unit the students should be able to:

1. plan and complete experiments to test hypotheses;

2. Interpret and manipulate experimental data;

3. Draw logical conclusions from experimental data;

4. Formulate novel hypotheses based on experimental data;

5. Collate and analyse data from various sources including printed and online Scientific Journals, databases and textbooks;

6. Ddemonstrate basic computer skills including proficiency in the use of word processing packages;

7. Work independently, demonstrating organisational skills and the ability to manage time effectively.

Teaching Information

One-to-one instruction in experimental techniques. Directed reading.

Assessment Information

The Unit is assessed in terms of the laboratory performance (20% - supervisor mark) and the dissertation (80%).

The completed Dissertation will be assessed independently by two members of academic staff and will be the subject of oral or poster presentation. The purpose of the presentation is to ensure that the Dissertation is the student’s own work and that the student fully understands the content of the Dissertation. There is no separate mark for the presentation and it is not used to moderate the Dissertation mark.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BIOCM0005).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.