Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Understanding Biological Research
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 6 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 5 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Critique of peer reviewed papers.  40%
Semester Assessment Magazine article based on a recent paper.  10%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   50%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify the factors that enables a question to be addressed by the scientific method.

2. Critically review the effectiveness of a range of research methods.

3. Compare the use of a range of different methods for presenting scientific data.

4. Critically review a number of peer reviewed papers.

5. Translate a scientific paper for a general audience.

Brief description

The scientific process of identifying interesting, answerable questions and how to design research projects to address them and finally communicate these ideas effectively to a range of audiences is challenging. This module is designed to cover this ground, by using various ongoing research projects at the Gogerddan campus as worked examples.


The delivery of this module will primarily take the form of research focused seminars with various members of IBERS Gogerddan staff.
The content will include: the production of answerable research questions in biology, writing research proposals, design and management research projects, presentation and interpretation of results, writing and 'decoding' scientific papers for a general audience.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Data Interitation is part of the first assignment and data presentation is required as part of the second.
Communication Although the second assignment is focused on presenting science to a general audience.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module utilizes a greater proportion of seminars and workshops and fewer lectures than the standard IBERS module, and informal feedback on these will be provide.
Information Technology Not a significant part of the module, except in data handling.
Personal Development and Career planning Effective research skills are important element required for many jobs in the biological sciences.
Problem solving This skill is a key component of the critique of scientific paper assignment.
Research skills The entire premise of this module is to develop the students' research skills.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Not a significant part of the module, except in the workshop or seminar session.


This module is at CQFW Level 5