|Co-ordinator||Dr Rodney Turner|
|Semester||Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)|
All students in the Institute of Biological Sciences undertake a research project worth thirty credits in the final year. The work is spread over semesters 1 and 2.
Supervisors are assigned and provisional project titles agreed with students by the end of year 2. The nature of the project will reflect the interests of individual students and while there will be variation in the emphasis of the work, all projects are governed by the same regulations and have the same objectives. Many projects will be based on laboratory or field-based experimental exercises, while others will focus on critical review of published literature, analysis of published or unpublished data, and computer modelling. All projects, however, will test the ability of the student to formulate hypotheses, to analyse data, and to read and evaluate the relevant literature. Purely descriptive projects and those which simply re-iterate published work are not acceptable.
The first task of the student is to prepare a one page written synopsis of the proposed work in consultation with the supervisor. This will give an outline of the proposal as envisaged at the start of the project; it is not a work schedule.
The project will enable students to undertake independent research work of their choice under the supervision of one or more members of staff. This is done in a research environment to encourage a critical approach to the collection, recording and evaluation of data. Students are expected to: -
? identify and define a suitable area for investigation and prepare a research protocol
? acquire techniques of literature searching and apply these to the project
? plan experiments/make observations/critically assess the literature with the aim of contributing to the level of knowledge in the research field under investigation
? analyse and present data and observations, and discuss these in relation to existing knowledge in the field
? highlight unanswered questions and areas of controversy in the research area and make suggestions for future research
? develop skills of scientific writing, and the presentation of illustrated verbal reports using the IT skills acquired during the course
? achieve some degree of independence in their work.