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Unit information: Biomedical Sciences Research Skills in 2021/22

Unit name Biomedical Sciences Research Skills
Unit code MVSF30001
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Jim Spencer
Open unit status Not open



4 x 20cp level H/6 lecture units offered by the schools of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience.

School/department Life Sciences Faculty Office
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Students will carry out an experimental, literature, computer-based or a school-based education research project in an area of current interest in biomedical sciences. The Introduction to the project dissertations will require a review of the relevant primary scientific literature. Students will be able to evaluate and discuss the key research papers underlying their project. Students doing experimental projects will learn data analysis skills and to disseminate their results in a written dissertation and by giving a research talk. All students will learn to assess the scientific literature and will evaluate whether appropriate conclusions have been drawn.

The unit aims to allow students to develop the skills necessary to carry out a research project in the field of biomedical sciences. They will read, analyse and interpret scientific data presented in the literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of a specific area of modern biomedical sciences, including understanding of the scientific literature pertaining to the project and an ability to evaluate this literature critically.

Knowledge and understanding of design, execution and analysis of research projects.

The ability to reason; analyse and interpret data; identify and solve problems; exercise independence of mind; form and defend scientific judgements.

Transferable skills including the ability to communicate in writing and orally; be self-reliant and organise time effectively; work as a group member where appropriate; take appropriate decisions when needed; an appropriate level of numeracy and IT skill; plan, execute and interpret the results of experimental work; and manage a research project.

Teaching Information

Students will be supported throughout their projects by their project supervisors.

Specific instruction on data and literature interpretation will be given within the co-requisite level H/6 units.

Students will be given the opportunity to gain formative feedback on their performance on practice questions.

Assessment Information


The assessed components will be the project dissertation and a research talk:

1. Project dissertation (90% of the mark)

2. Project research talk (10% of the mark)

Experimental project

- a dissertation of 5,500 words, to include a 250-word abstract and 2,000-word introduction


Non-experimental project

- laboratory research project with a 6,500-word dissertation, to include a 250-word abstract and 2,000-word introduction


University Ambassadorial Scheme (teaching project)

- a dissertation of 6,500 words, to include a 2,000-word introduction

Formative feedback will be provided on drafts of the Introduction and Results or Analysis Sections.

The Level H/6 Project is marked by the Supervisor and another Assessor:

Research Talk

All students will give a 10 minute oral presentation on their project, with five minutes for questions, which will be summatively assessed and formative feedback will be provided. The presentation counts 10% towards the unit mark.

Experimental and Non-experimental projects

Supervisor Marks for originality and effort 10%
Abstract 5%
Background and Introduction 30%
Methods, Result and discussion or grant proposal 40%
Presentation of the Dissertation 5%
Project Talk 10%

University Ambassadorial Scheme (teaching projects)

Supervisor mark for initiative and ability 10% (supervisor mark)
Teaching and Ambassadorial skills (description, evaluation and reflection on teaching and ambassadorial activities) 20%
Abstract 5%
Background and Introduction 20%
Methods, results and discussion 30%
Presentation of the Dissertation 5%
Project Talk 10%


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. MVSF30001).

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.