Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Frontiers in the Biosciences
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures
Workshop 11 x 2 Hour Workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Generic lecture summaries  (two, following a formative exercise).  10%
Semester Assessment Subject-specific essay  on selected hot topic (Up to 2000 words).  50%
Semester Assessment Subject-specific journalistic article  (up to 1200 words).  20%
Semester Assessment Group presentation  based around one of key subjects.  20%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Discuss a comprehensive overview of major themes and topics in the Biosciences.

2. Describe and discuss a wide range of approaches and technologies available in the biosciences to provide solutions to globally important problems and issues from the past, present and into future.

3. Position his / her particular subject area within and between others, considering stakeholders, individual priorities, research effort and communication.

4. Use the generic framework provided to enrich knowledge within his/her own subject area.

5. Confidently describe and communicate discuss his / her own subject area against the broad bioscience background provided (via written and oral approaches in scientific and journalistic styles).

Brief description

This module provides both generic and bespoke elements of teaching in the biosciences. Through its structure we highlight the integration of topics and research approaches. It also provides insight into how different researchers and practitioners and users of the information (stakeholders) communicate, view and position themselves around a particular topic.
Students learn a breadth of topics but also specialize on their own topic. At the same time, they learn how to: write summaries from seminars; construct journalistic articles, deliver a hot topic problem-centered essay; integrate their collective subject-specific research into a conference presentation. The module culminates in group presentations delivered to all module participants and open to IBERS staff.


This module aims to provide students with a thorough and practical insight into how the biosciences are being used to address global challenges. Through exploring a diversity of topics delivered by a wide range of research practitioners students are provided with a thorough insight into modern practices and approaches. Via bespoke sessions students focus on their own topic, they engage in interactive workshops and group activities. The module provides both broad and specialist understanding of the biosciences with a focus on research innovation and communication.


We have entered into the 21st century and an era where the biosciences are changing the way we live. From the technologies that help deliver food to our plate to stem cell technology, bioscience knowledge and technology is being use respond to human challenges to sustain and enrich our lives. The growing human population and increased affluence demands that bioresources are used sustainably. This module explores how this aspiration can be met and highlights the importance of knowledge transfer and communication.

We provide a comprehensive overview of selected major themes and topics in the Biosciences. A core series of ten two hour research seminars are delivered by research experts from IBERS to provide students with a thorough insight into globally important problems and issues from the past, present and into future. Speakers describe and discuss approaches and technologies used to provide solutions to advance their particular area of research. The series of seminars aims to provide a broad bioscience research platform beyond the students' individual area of interest.

In tandem with the generic core provision, students are divided according to interest subjects (e.g. Marine and Freshwater; Biodiversity and Conservation; BioEnergy and Sustainability; Food and Health) and engage in specialisation via ten further workshops / seminars. Here they target specialisation, integration within groups and communication to other groups (via discussion, oral presentations, lecture summary writing, construction of a hot topic essay and journalistic writing).
The module culminates in a multi-disciplinary conference involving presentations by students during week 11 of Semester 1. All students from all subjects will attend the conference where group seminars will be assessed.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Collection, assessment and potential analysis of data from research and synthesis into essay and presentation.
Communication Communication is assessed via written and oral communication (hot topic essay and journalistic article), oral presentation in a conference environment.
Improving own Learning and Performance Formative exercises are embedded into the workshops to aid students with learning and performance.
Information Technology Data assessment, analysis and presentation within assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning Provides a generic overview of a broad range of topics, approaches and viewpoints in the Biosciences allowing students to use this module to scope future career options. Specialist elements provide career targeted learning.
Problem solving The hot topic essay will involve synthesis and try to solve a problem or problems in the subject area.
Research skills The central aim of this module is to provide students with a thorough insight into generic and their specialist topic in the biosciences. Research skills are developed via workshops targeting research-centered assignments.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Students will work within groups to deliver and complete their presentations. They will also engage in group discussion sessions and student-led exercises.


This module is at CQFW Level 7