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Unit information: Literature Review in 2015/16

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Unit name Literature Review
Unit code BIOL30002
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Soffe
Open unit status Not open

Normally 120cps of appropriate Level 2 units in Biological Sciences



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

Description including Unit Aims

A critical review of work in a wide choice of selected topics, presented as a maximum 5000 word essay.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Our overall aim is to give students the opportunity to exhibit and extend their skills in researching a specific topic in biology, and in reporting on it both in writing and orally. In achieving the aims, students must show that they can work independently, developing their own chains of thought.

Students will show that they can use a scientific library, by consulting the appropriate text books and the most recent, original research articles revealed through the use of Web of Science etc., and abstracting journals.

Once they have prepared a draft review, students will give an assessed oral presentation on their topic, thus improving their verbal communication skills. Giving this presentation will help students to consolidate their thoughts and identify the main points, arguments, and conclusions of their review, and therefore also enhance the development of their written communication skills. Students will use feedback given on the oral presentation to prepare the final version of their review.

The finished literature review should reflect the students' ability to produce a report intelligible to the non-specialist, scientifically informed reader, and organised in a style similar to that used by many scientific review journals.

Teaching Information

Academic staff provide review titles and discuss approaches with students during teaching block 1. Students' research and writing is mainly done in 10 weeks during teaching block 2 (weeks 13-22). Students give an individual oral presentation on their Literature Review subject towards the end of the spring term, which provides a means for giving formative feedback to each student prior to submission of their completed review. Completing the oral presentation to a satisfactory level is a requirement for award of credit points.

Assessment Information

A maximum 5000 word literature review (100%). Formative assessment of student presentations is provided to give feedback before submission of the review.

Reading and References

References are selected by students from the primary literature, and are specific to their topic.