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BL2300 Research Methods in Biology

SCOTCAT credits:15
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 8
Planned timetable:Lectures: 12.00 noon Tue, Thu (odd weeks) 12.00 noon Wed, Fri (even weeks) Practical classes: 2.00 - 5.00 pm Wed, Thu or Fri (weeks 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10)

This module will help students develop essential academic and transferable skills, with major emphasis on problem solving. This will be achieved through a combination of interactive lectures, independent data-handling workshops and group work on a mini research project. The module will start with an introduction to the scientific method, experimental design, understanding and presenting data. Students will then learn various statistical tests using a code-based statistical software and build their confidence in independent data-handling workshops. Regular mathematics for biologists classes will allow students to practise manipulating equations, performing laboratory calculations etc. A mini project on which the students work in small groups will help them apply the principles learned. The module will also cover scientific essay writing, record keeping and good laboratory practice.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Compulsory for all single honours Biology degrees Compulsory for Biology and Geology Joint Honours degree

Optional for joint honours Biology degrees.

UG Pre-requisite(s):BL1101 and BL1102
UG Modules required for:BL3000, BL3320

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:2 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 3-hour practical (x 6 weeks)
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 38
  • Guided independent study: 112

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 0%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 100%
UG As used by St Andrews:Coursework = 100%
UG Re-assessment:Alternative assessment to the same weighting as the failed item of assessment


Module coordinator:Dr V Dietrich-Bischoff
Module teaching staff:Team taught