Skip to main content

Unit information: Concepts and Skills in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Concepts and Skills
Unit code PHPH30007
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Langton
Open unit status Not open

PHPH20009: Neurophysiology, PHPH20010: Developmental Physiology of the Specialized Cell


Research Project or Grant Proposal

School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to provide training in core skills and techniques that are vital to effectively, read, interpret and criticise the scientific literature, as well as to analyse and communicate scientific findings. It includes: statistics; data quantitation; limits of scientific understanding; critical reading of research literature; scientific writing and presentation; public engagement with science; ethics of animal and human experimentation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of and the ability to apply common statistical and analytical methods relevant to biomedical science
  • The ability to demonstrate a critical approach to reading scientific publications
  • The ability to demonstrate a scientific writing and referencing style
  • An understanding of how to communicate science to the general public

Teaching Information

Lectures, practical classes on statistics, peer marking, e-learning components on data analysis using Excel, Powerpoint presentation and basic numeric skills.

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed through:

  • 1.5-hour summative examination in January (40%), consisting of around 70 extended matching -type questions based both on the students statistical understanding and prior statistical analysis of a range of datasets. This summative examination assesses statistical understanding and is preceded by a formative examination in November, using the same format.
  • Library project (40%) on a choice of topics at the forefront of Physiological and Neuroscience research, consisting of 200-word abstract and 2500-word essay. This summative assessment tests the ability to read and critically analyse the primary research literature, to synthesise ideas and to communicate them effectively in written form to a scientific reader. It is preceded by a formative library project of the same format, which is peer assessed.
  • Public engagement in Science assignment (20%). This is a 500-word article, aimed at communicating the ideas in their library project to members of the general public. This summatively assesses their understanding of the different approach required when in communicating scientific ideas to the general public and is preceded by a formative assignment of the same format.

Reading and References

Selected original research papers from the scientific literature