Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Skills for Biologists
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Group Oral Presentation  5 Minutes  25%
Semester Assessment Essay  Written essay (fully referenced) 1000 Words  10%
Semester Assessment Report  Practical Report 2000 Words  65%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  Written essay (fully referenced) 1000 Words  10%
Supplementary Assessment Lab Report  Practical Report 2000 Words  65%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation  5 Minutes  25%

Learning Outcomes

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

Communicate information and ideas in the form of oral and written presentations.

Develop a reasoned argument and challenge assumptions.

Formulate hypotheses and research questions, undertake data collection, and make academic arguments.

Identify appropriate data sources and information resources.

Instill appropriate academic conduct (e.g. avoiding unacceptable practice).

Interpret and use data.

Demonstrate basic computer literacy.

Follow an experimental protocol

Record, interpret and report experimental data appropriately

Present data/concepts through a variety of media

Brief description

The module is intended to prepare students with the key skills necessary for a successful academic and professional career such as time management, critical thinking and reflective learning. An important aspect of the module is an introduction to a range of research issues such as literature evaluation, qualitative and quantitative data assessment and oral, visual and written communication. The module content is delivered through a range of formats including lectures, workshops, e-learning and tutorials. In semester 2 students will undertake a series of linked experiments that will develop basic practical skills required for research across biology. Group working skills will be developed through tutorials, which will also provide guidance in presentation/interpretation of experimental data.


Through a combination of formal introductory lectures, supplemented by tutorial session with personal tutors, the module aims to introduce students to and enhance their key study and communication skills. These include but are not limited to: Writing and presentation skills, Evaluation of information sources, Critical thinking, inductive and deductive reasoning, Research ethics and Data handling and analysis
Students studying biological sciences need early introduction to a set of basic molecular laboratory skills. This module will also use a series of integrated experiments to introduce students to these fundamental techniques. Group working skills will be developed through tutorials, which will also provide guidance presentation/interpretation of experimental data.


Semester 1
5 x 1h formal introductory lectures over the first 5 weeks of semester 1
6 x 2h tutorial sessions across the Semester (not centrally timetabled)
Semester 2
6 x 2h tutorial sessions across the Semester (not centrally timetabled)
In week 1, students will attend a series of linked lab classes every afternoon

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience Outside the formal contact hours, students will be expected to research materials, manage time and meet deadlines. The directed study elements will provide opportunity for students to explore their own learning styles and preferences and identify their needs and barriers to learning. Students will be able to review and monitor their progress and plan for improvement of personal performance.
Co-ordinating with others The research for the project is undertaken in personal tutor groups to introduce students to the concepts of team-working, and, based on feedback from the group, tutors are required to comment upon the contribution of individual group members towards achieving the required group outputs.
Creative Problem Solving Students may be introduced to the concepts of problem solving in developing the hypothesis to underpin their research project, but problem solving will not be an important element of skills development within this module.
Critical and analytical thinking Students will be required plan and undertake a mini research project and produce an academically appropriate report in which they will also be expected to comment critically upon the experimental approaches adopted.
Digital capability Across the various assignment, students are required to demonstrate effective use of a range of relevant IT software packages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
Professional communication The formative essay, project report and seminar presentation, with the detailed feedback provided by personal tutors, are deigned to help develop and improve communication skills.
Subject Specific Skills Application of number: Collection and scrutiny of data in terms of quality and quantity. Data interpretation. Subject specific concepts relating to biochemistry, genetics and microbiology will be developed. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of laboratory experimentation, and utilise common lab methods appropriately.


This module is at CQFW Level 4