Module Information

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

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Subject-specific journalistic article  (800 words)  30%
Semester Assessment Written essay  on selected hot topic (Up to 2000 words).  50%
Semester Assessment Group presentation based around one of key subjects  (two, following a formative exercise). (20 minutes)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Written essay  (2000 words) Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Subject-specific journalistic article  based around one of key subjects. (800 words)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Group presentation based around one of key subjects  (20 mintues)  20%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. 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.

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

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

4. Confidently describe and communicate 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.


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. Students will be expected to attend all Departmental Research Seminars in Semester 1 providing them 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. These seminars will 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, Future Agriculture etc.) and engage in specialization via workshops. 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
Communication Professional level delivery of a research seminar.
Improving own Learning and Performance
Information Technology
Personal Development and Career planning Real world focuson problems and solutions. Response to feedback from various assessment.
Problem solving Their aimisto move theirsubject forward by considering other subjects, providing solutions for the problems they identify.
Research skills Critical review of recent peer-review publications and data based around their topic will be required for completion of assessments.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific research in own selected area of interest.
Team work Assessed group work.


This module is at CQFW Level 7