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BB10216: Practical research and academic skills for biologists

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 60%, PR 40%
Assessment Detail:
  • Semester 1 Practical (PR 20%)
  • Semester 1 Tutorial (CW 30%)
  • Semester 2 Practical (PR 20%)
  • Semester 2 Tutorial (CW 30%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Demonstrate basic laboratory skills (accurate pipetting, make spectrophotometric determinations and calculations, set up and use a compound light microscope effectively and handle microorganisms safely and efficiently)
* Apply these skills to mini-projects and practicals
* Demonstrate data interpretation and analysis skills
* Present reasoned arguments and analyses in the form of reports
* Clearly present scientific information orally to a small audience
* Cite references (in an appropriate scientific format).

Aims: To provide students with an opportunity to acquire basic laboratory and academic skills (delivered by directed tutorial assignments). Tutorial sessions will develop essay writing, group discussion and presentation skills. A workshop will introduce students to library facilities and literature searching.

Skills: Learning and studying T/F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Oral communication T/F/A, Numeracy & computation T/F/A, Laboratory skills T/F, Information technology T/F, Problem solving T/F, Information handling & retrieval T/F/A, Working independently T/F.

Content: Practical Research

Basic quantitative laboratory skills, experimental design strategies using a 'mini-research' project (recombinant gene constructs for directed protein expression and localisation studies), eukaryotic cell culture, microbiology methods and multicellular organism biology.
Academic skills: Essay writing. Small group discussion work. Giving presentations. Searching, reading and analysing research papers. These skills will be developed during tutorial sessions, which have the additional aim of identifying and rectifying weaknesses in subject background.

Programme availability:

BB10216 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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