Skills For Bioscientists 2 - BI532

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Autumn 5 15 (7.5) DR R Masterton checkmark-circle


Communication Skills in Biosciences: Essay writing, oral presentations, laboratory reports, the scientific literature and literature reviews. Working in groups.

Techniques in Biomolecular Science: Immunochemistry. Monoclonal and polyclonal antibody production, immuno-chromatography, ELISA and RIA. Electrophoresis, Immunoblotting, Protein Determination, Activity Assays, Purification.

Computing for Biologists: Bioinformatics, phylogenetic trees, database searches for protein/DNA sequences.

Mini-project – introduction to research skills: Students will work in groups of eight to undertake directed experimental work (Group Project) before extending the project further through self-directed experiments working as a pair (Mini Project).

Careers: The programme will be delivered by the Careers Advisory Service and will review the types of careers available for bioscience students. The sessions will incorporate personal skills, careers for bioscience graduates, records of achievement, curriculum vitae preparation, vacation work, postgraduate study, interview skills and action planning.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 60
Private study hours: 90
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Essay analysis (15%) (group assignment)
Presentation (25%) (5 min individual contribution to 20 min group presentation)
Mini-project report (55%) (2500 words)
Bioinformatics assignment (5%)

Indicative reading

Reed, R, Holmes, D., Weyers, J. and Jones, A. Practical Skills in Biomolecular Sciences 4th edition (2013) Prentice Hall
Price, N.C. and Nairn, J. Exploring Proteins – a student's guide to experimental skills and methods (2009) Oxford University Press
Johnson, S. & Scott, J, Study and communications skills for the Biosciences (2009) Oxford University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of general techniques in spectroscopy, chromatography, electrophoresis and immunochemistry.
Demonstrate an understanding and ability to use DNA databases and phylogenetic trees.
Plan and execute experimental work using a range of experimental techniques.
Report experimental work both orally and written.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate basic computer skills for use in bioinformatics and data retrieval.
Demonstrate communication skills in scientific reporting (essay writing, oral presentations and laboratory reports) and in working with others (group work).


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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