Module Information

Brief description

All students in the Institute of Biological Sciences undertake a research project worth thirty credits in the final year. The work is spread over semesters 1 and 2.

By the end of year 2, you should have been allocated a project, have been assigned a supervisor, and have submitted a brief synopsis of your project for approval. If this is not the case, contact the Module Co-ordinator Dr Glyn Jenkins straight away. The nature of the project will reflect the interests of individual students and while there will be variation in the emphasis of the work, all projects are governed by the same regulations and have the same objectives. Many projects will be based on laboratory or field-based experimental exercises, while others will focus on critical review of published literature, analysis of published or unpublished data, and computer modelling. All projects, however, will test the ability of the student to formulate hypotheses, to analyse data, and to read and evaluate the relevant literature. Purely descriptive projects and those which simply re-iterate published work are not acceptable.


The project will enable students to undertake independent research work of their choice under the supervision of one or more members of staff. This is done in a research environment to encourage a critical approach to the collection, recording and evaluation of data. Students are expected to: -

- identify and define a suitable area for investigation and prepare a research protocol
- acquire techniques of literature searching and apply these to the project
- plan experiments/make observations/critically assess the literature with the aim of contributing to the level of
knowledge in the research field under investigation
- analyse and present data and observations, and discuss these in relation to existing knowledge in the field?
- highlight unanswered questions and areas of controversy in the research area and make suggestions for future
- develop skills of scientific writing, and the presentation of illustrated verbal reports using the IT skills acquired
during the course
- achieve some degree of independence in their work.


The level of contact between students and supervisors during project work will vary across the different disciplines in the Institute but all students are required to maintain regular contact with the supervisor. This is your responsibility. You should note that you are required to meet with the supervisor at least once every two weeks during the semesters to discuss progress. You may, of course, make an appointment to see your supervisor at any time. Students who fail to make regular contact with the Supervisor will be reported to the Co-ordinator of Teaching. Remember, your project supervisor is also your personal tutor with whom you should raise any issues of concern which may be affecting your work.


There are three parts to the assessment of the project:

(1) Student conduct (15% awarded by supervisor)

(2) Dissertation (75% awarded by supervisor and second assessor)

TWO COPIES of the completed dissertation must be submitted to the Undergraduate Office, Edward Llwyd Building before the deadline (TBA). One of these copies will be available for you to collect at graduation.

You are reminded that failure to meet the deadline for the completed project will result in forfeiture of all marks allocated to the project. Extension to the deadline can only be given by the Director of Teaching, to whom application should be made in writing, clearly stating the grounds on which the extension is sought. Please note that extensions are given only in exceptional circumstances.

(3) Seminar (10% awarded by supervisor and second assessor)

You will present your project also in the form of a research seminar to an audience of other students and members of staff. Your talk should be 10 minutes long, with an additional 5 minutes for qu


This module is at CQFW Level 6