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BB20153: Data interpretation

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 20%, EX 60%, MC 20%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 20%)
  • Multiple Choice (MC 20%)
  • Examination (EX 60%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: After taking this course the student should be able to:
* demonstrate an understand of the principles of experimental design and identification of potential sources of error;
* make logical statements and reach sound conclusions from biological data, in particular formulate a null hypothesis;
* draw an accurate and appropriately annotated graph;
* identify the correct statistical test to perform on a data set;
* apply a statistical test to a set of data;
* interpret the outcome of a statistical test on biological data;
* present the results of a piece of research in poster form;
* summarise the key elements of a piece of scientific prose.

Aims: To provide experience of the presentation and interpretation of biological data and the handling of biological information.

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

Content: The course comprises some lectures and a series of assignments and problems that are undertaken by students and then analysed and discussed in weekly workshops and in tutorials led by personal tutors. Using examples that illustrate different types of biological information, the course covers the interpretation of simple data sets, data transformation, graphical presentation, interpretation of trends, selection of appropriate statistical tests for particular data sets, abstracting biological information, presenting results in poster form. As far as possible, the examples are generic, designed to be capable of interpretation without a requirement for in depth understanding of any particular area of biology.

Programme availability:

BB20153 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.
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