Module Overview

Research Methods & Applications

The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to independently practice the key ‘soft skills’ necessary to successfully carry out and communicate research in the biosciences. Using an enquiry-based learning approach this module enables learners to develop skills and know-how in a selection of areas e.g. planning and design of experiments, critical analysis and presentation of data.  

Module Code

BIOL 3009

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

-    Accessing the scientific literature: effective searching; information retrieval and organisation; use of computers as information and research tools; 
-    Critical appraisal of research: dissection of a problem into key features; design of experiments; limitations of experimental approach; interpretation of experimental quantitative and qualitative data; identification of limitations in experimental data; quality assurance in research studies; 
-    Data analysis and presentation: statistical analysis of experimental data; evaluation of statistical approaches; use of computer packages to analyse data and prepare figures; practical approaches to data presentation; structure of a scientific figure; structures of a scientific table; preparation of publication quality figures and tables; 
-    Communication of research: structure of a scientific review; techniques for scientific writing; poster design; preparation of poster for conference presentation; use of computer packages for poster presentation; presentation of poster in conference settings;  
-    Personal research skills: project and time management; identification of personal knowledge deficits; working in teams; communication with team members; communication with professional scientists

This module will consist of 24 two-hour sessions which will include a combination of guided discussion, group work, practical skills (e.g. data analysis, poster preparation). Learners will use a publicly-available, open-access authentic experimental dataset from e.g.,, or as a tool for the development of their research knowhow and critical skills. With the support of an academic mentor, learners will prepare a manuscript based on this data including a literature review and independent analysis of the public dataset. A summary of these data will be presented at the School research day conference.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100