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Unit information: Laboratory Research Methods in 2021/22

Unit name Laboratory Research Methods
Unit code SOCS30002
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1A (weeks 1 - 6)
Unit director Dr. Cordero Llana
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will introduce students to the theoretical aspects and practicalities of a diverse range of laboratory techniques that are used in modern research. Recent trends and methods including physiological genomics and molecular medicine will be discussed. Students will be introduced to the concepts in the “omics” field of study including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics; high throughput sequencing and bioinformatics; the use of viral vectors for gene transfer and manipulation of gene expression; the use of model organisms and genetically modified mice as models of human disease; dynamic cell microscopy and imaging techniques as well as an introduction to stem cell biology.

The unit aims to: (i) Provide students with the knowledge of cutting-edge genetic and molecular techniques that can be used in the laboratory to study disease (ii) Provide students with knowledge of cellular and animal models of diseases that are used in biomedical research (iii) Provide the students with knowledge of visualisation techniques that can be used to image disease

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit the student should be able to: (i) explain the theoretical basis of main research methods that are relevant and applicable to the biomedical sciences (ii) describe in vitro and in vivo research models that can be used to study disease (iii) assess the advantages and limitations of various research techniques that are used in the laboratory, particularly in biomedical research

Teaching Information

This unit is taught through lectures and tutorials (which may be online or face-to-face, where appropriate).

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed by two essays, selected from a list of titles on the theory, applications and limitations of a technique or disease model. The first essay will be formative and the second essay will be summative (contributing 100% to the unit 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. SOCS30002).

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.