Practical and Applied Research Skills for Advanced Biologists - BI836

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
(version 2)
Autumn 7 30 (15) DR S Moore checkmark-circle


The module aims to develop understanding and practical skills in molecular biology, based around interactive workshops, practical sessions and group work . The module will involve practical sessions covering key practical and transferable skills in molecular biology and biotechnology. These will be accompanied by interactive workshops and classes that review the theory of these techniques, and will use case studies to illustrate their impact and importance in both academic and industrial settings. Students will learn skills in experimental design using appropriate case studies that will embed them within the relevant research literature. They will also gain experience of analysis and statistical interpretation of complex experimental data.


Contact hours

Seminars, including preparation time (50 h)
Laboratory workshops (30 h)
Online Workshops (20 h)
Preparation of lab report (30 h)

Peer Review Assignment (20 h)
Self study (150 h)

Method of assessment

A. Assessments associated with online workshops (Pass/Fail at 70% pass mark; multiple attempts permitted until pass mark is achieved)
B. Peer Review Assignment (40% of module mark)
C. Lab report (4,000 words) (60% of module mark)

Indicative reading

The reading list will be research articles, which will be used to drive a case-study based approach to learning. Students will be provided with their own copies of this reading material, but in some cases they will be set tasks for receiving appropriate journal articles to which we already have access.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes:
a. Knowledge and understanding of key principles in molecular biology
b. Practical experience of modern molecular biology and its application to solve research problems
c. Experimental design within a biological research context
d. Interpretation of biological data
e. Organisation and presentation of experimental data

The intended generic learning outcomes:
a. Communication: ability to organise information clearly, present information in oral and written form, adapt presentation for different audiences
b. Analytical skills: interpretation of data, marshalling of information from published sources, critical evaluation of own research and that of others
c. Team work: the ability to work both independently and as part of a research group using peer support, diplomacy and collective responsibility
d. Self-motivation and independence: time and workload management in order to meet personal targets and imposed deadlines
e. Information technology: use of appropriate technology to retrieve, analyse and present scientific information


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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