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Unit information: Biochemistry Industrial Placement in 2021/22

Unit name Biochemistry Industrial Placement
Unit code BIOC25000
Credit points 120
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Ross Anderson
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Biochemistry
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is designed to provide students with experience of biochemically related research. The student spends a year as an employee of an industrial partner, research hospital, University or research institute and is subject to their working practices, conditions and salary. Approximately 47 weeks are spent on a suitable project with appreciable academic content, to be written up in the form of a report, which forms part of the final Honours assessment.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the placement, students will be able to:

  • discuss the organisation, administration or communication of scientific research outside of a University-based academic research environment
  • practice biochemical research in an industrial laboratory or research institute, or apply their biochemical knowledge in a commercial environment
  • employ the appropriate safety standards required in a working environment
  • report and explain the specialist knowledge and expertise gained during their placement
  • recognise and apply the practical, transferable and time management skills gained during the placement to their studies and their future careers

Teaching Information

All teaching occurs at the placement. The Unit Organiser will keep in regular contact with the student throughout the placement and will visit the student at least once during the year.

Assessment Information

The assessment procedure:

The student will write an extended final project report on their accomplishments during year 3. The report of each student will be assessed by two members of the School, and there will be a 30 minute viva voce examination with the two internal examiners and unit organiser. After the viva a mark will be awarded that incorporates the marks of the internal examiners and the feedback from the industrial supervisor. (ILOs 1-6).

The purpose of the report is to enable the examiners to evaluate the learning experience in year 3. They will assess the report for comprehension of the science area, practical work, ability to evaluate results and ability to explain the project to a non-specialist (see examiners assessment sheet on page 9).

The report should contain:-

  1. a summary (up to 200 words)
  2. an introduction the aims of the project and the relevance of the project to the business or research institute
  3. a section of materials, methods and general techniques
  4. the results obtained
  5. a discussion of the achievements of the project and indications of useful future work
  6. references

The overall length of the report should usually not exceed 55,000 characters (excluding references and figure legends). In describing scientific sections, the style should follow that of a mainstream molecular biology / biochemical journal, such as The Biochemical Journal, the EMBO Journal or Cell. A critical style is encouraged. Tables and figures with adequate legends are a useful way to condense material. The report should contain examples of results (for example, gel photographs, chromatograms, printouts etc.) so that the precision and reproducibility of the experiments can be evaluated. Some additional material (e.g. lists of primer sequences; additional data other than that presented in the main report) might usefully be put into an appendix.


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. BIOC25000).

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.