Module Information

Module Identifier
BRM2860
Module Title
MBiol Research Project
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Pre-Requisite
External Examiners
  • Professor Richard J Murphy (Professor - University of Surrey)
  • Dr Robert Baxter (Senior Lecturer - University of Durham)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Research notebook  15%
Semester Assessment Poster  5%
Semester Assessment Press release and Tweet  5%
Semester Assessment Scientific research paper as a report of the scientific  investigation (typically 7000-8000 words and not to exceed 8500 words) in accordance with University guidelines for the MSc dissertation.  75%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

1. Undertake an independent research investigation as a credible test of one or more stated scientific hypotheses. One or more tangible hypotheses will have been derived from an axiomatic appraisal of peer-reviewed literature, distilled from the extended literature review of the BR32330 Dissertation module and normally used to refine the initial project proposal, produced in BR23420 Research Methods.

2. Present results with a rigorous quantitative analysis of the data using appropriate statistical methods.

3. Compose a discussion with an effective synthesis of results, critically appraise published studies to recognize when the results corroborate or contradict earlier data and determine whether the evidence supports or refutes the stated scientific hypotheses.

4. Prepare an account of the research investigation in the form of a scientific research paper and as other media to enable communication and dissemination to a wider audience.

5. Demonstrate skills in personal organization, management and initiative to effectively complete the research investigation and write up within an agreed timetable.

6. Recognize opportunities to integrate and apply knowledge from taught modules of the scheme.

Brief description

The strength of the MBiol is the greater opportunity to apply theory to a research investigation over a protracted period, normally beginning with the choice of general topic and research planning in the BR23420 Research Methods module and an extended literature review within the BR32330 Honours dissertation project. At this point, students will be best placed to identify gaps in current knowledge and understanding and to formulate hypotheses and develop a detailed project proposal culminating in the empirical data collection and analysis of the BRM2860 MBiol Research Project. This will be written up in the style of a peer-reviewed research paper that should not exceed 8500 words in length, rather than a dissertation, in order to practice and develop writing skills relevant to a professional research scientist. Consistent with such professional training, students will be required to maintain a written record of activities associated with the duration of the research project (research notebook), produce a poster, press release and Tweet to communicate the main objective and results of the research (all assessed). The research project will normally be analytical in nature, investigating a subject of the student's choice and subject to a supervisor's approval, representing an opportunity for the student to pursue independent research.

Aims

To provide the student with the opportunity to pursue an in-depth investigation of an appropriate topic. It is intended that the skills and discipline required to write a scholarly paper on a specified subject will be developed to an advanced level.

Content

The module will provide the opportunity to specialise in a particular aspect of the discipline. It will achieve this by considering the following areas:
  • Introductory session detailing the requirements of a dissertation
  • Tutorials to give guidance and arrange appropriate dissertation research work, culminating in the production of a research proposal
  • A period of approximately 9 months experimental work/data gathering under the guidance of a dissertation supervisor
  • The written submission will be as a research paper in the style described in the 'Instructions to Authors' of an appropriate scientific journal, by subject specialism and under the guidance of the project supervisor. This would typically be of 7000-8000 words and should not exceed 8500 words in length (this is permitted under Regulations for Modular Taught Postgraduate Awards - Dissertation Formats and Retrieval of Failure: Regulation 20).

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will apply statistical techniques and reinforce learning in pre-requisite modules.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in the research paper in accordance with University guidelines for the MSc dissertation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Consultation and feedback of supervisor and personal reflection on each stage of the research project. [Evidenced in assessed research notebook]
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases and be taught to use specialist statistical software.
Personal Development and Career planning The research project develops many transferrable skills relevant to careers in commercial or academic research [Partly evidenced in assessed research paper, press release and Tweet].
Problem solving Regular challenges experienced in the design and implementation of a personal research investigation.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self study and so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills High level skill development in subject specialism.
Team work

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7