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Unit information: Advanced Practical Skills in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Practical Skills
Unit code BIOL30006
Credit points 30
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Murray
Open unit status Not open

Normally 120 CPs of appropriate level 2 units in Biological Sciences


Biology or Zoology programmes

School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

A combination of short practical projects covering a broad range of biological topics and transferable skills. Students normally work in small groups. The aim of this unit is to develop a broad set of advanced practical skills to prepare students for research projects in their final year.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The emphasis during this unit will be on building a breadth of practical skills. During the unit you will learn a wide diversity of skills through independent work, some specific to a particular subject area and others that are generic and applicable to biological research across its spectrum. Through the different experimental tasks, you will have the opportunity to develop a diverse set of abilities through different approaches to experimental design, planning and efficient organisation of work as well as different, specific, practical and technical skills relevant to each area. Most tasks will involve recording, analysing and interpreting data. This will form the basis for poster presentations and for written summaries.

Teaching Information

The Advanced Practical Skills unit takes 12 weeks during which each student will complete a number of directed mini-projects including research activity, self-directed learning and preparation of materials for assessment of research outputs (e.g. writing of abstracts, data analysis/presentation, poster presentation, discussion). The unit will include a mixture of introductory lectures, workshops and seminars, lab work and field work.

Assessment Information

Continuous assessment mark (40%); assessment of research outputs, covering: abstracts, data analysis/presentation, poster presentation, discussion (60%)


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. BIOL30006).

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.