Module Overview

Critical thinking for Biotechnology and related industries

This is an introductory module with the aim of developing student critical thinking skills from an early stage in the programme. The students will use problem based learning (PBL) to critically analyse concepts of scientific communication, toxicology, biotechnology, chemistry and ethics. These subjects will be linked where possible to other modules for reinforcement of syllabus learning. The module will use reflection and peer-based learning to improve the students learning experience and enhance critical analyses skills, preparing the student for future components of the four year programme, This will greatly enhance student learning methodologies including knowledge reinforcement and self-directed learning which will essentially increase learning motivation for the student.

Module Code

FOOD 1005

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

 The students will be given an induction to the module and creation of an e-portfolio. A module handbook will be provided at the beginning of the module with details of instructions for weekly activities. Each week the students will be given a task to complete and must show evidence that they are competent in this area as follows;

  1. Introduction to the module content and assessment. Use the e-portfolio as a central repository for evidence of competencies developed during module. Library information session on how to access journals with pin numbers, targeted searches and referencing.
  2. Scientific reading (science in the media versus peer-reviewed papers) and abstract writing.
  3. Problem based learning exercise with reinforcement of the school lab report protocol.
  4. Lab based project including problem based learning (PBL) exercise
  5. Introduction to chemical drawing via a chemical drawing package.
  6. Introduction to risk assessment of chemicals, ethics and toxicology with a team project.
  7. PBL in the application of toxicology assays including cellular viability (cytotoxicity) and DNA damage (genotoxicity).
  8. Group project on an industry developed material which includes a literature review,report writing and numerical calculation of toxicity with probit on dose response curves.
  9. PBL team exercise to propose steps for determining the viability of innovative techniques.

The module will be delivered in a context/ project based learning approach. The module will be offered as 8 x 3hr workshops. Week 1 and 5 require computer based lab workshops. Week 4 is a wet lab for context/ project based learning. In week 6 and 7 a flipped class approach will be taken. All other weeks and the final week will be group work focused. The final session will be a PBL team exercise facilitated by a Researcher.

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