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Unit information: Research Project in 2020/21

Unit name Research Project
Unit code BIOC30003
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Mike Jones
Open unit status Not open

Molecular Cell Biology BIOC20001, Macromolecular Structure, Dynamics and Function BIOC20002, Recombinant DNA Technology MOLG22100 and Gene Expression and Rearrangement MOLG22200


Advanced Cell Biology BIOC30601 The Dynamic Proteome BIOC30604 Cellular Information BIOC30602 Advanced Options in Biochemistry BIOC30600

School/department School of Biochemistry
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


Students will undertake a substantial piece of independent project work on this unit. The Research Project will consist of a 24 day, supervised research project normally undertaken as part of one of the research groups in the School. The following types of project are usually available:

  • “Wet”, lab-based projects
  • “Dry” computer-based projects, normally involving data-mining/analysis or molecular modelling
  • “iProjects” which will involve investigating a hypothesis or problem that is current to the supervisor’s research, exploring the background to the problem through the available literature, analysing critically available information pertaining to the problem and proposing/assessing ways of addressing the problem experimentally
  • Education or School-based projects carried out either in a local school or involving the research and development of education materials suitable for undergraduate education (e.g. on-line tutorials, practicals, etc)

Students will be allowed to state a preference for the project they wish to undertake.

The unit aims to develop key research and analytical skills in biochemistry. Students will gain experience of biochemical research and gain an understanding of scientific enquiry through project work.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Undertake supervised research to investigate research questions
  • Work independently and as part of a lab team as appropriate
  • Collect, analyse and interpret data
  • Write up their research findings as a research report
  • Undertake self-directed background reading of the primary scientific literature to inform their research report
  • Present their findings and answer questions on their research in a viva

Teaching details

Supervised project work

Assessment Details

For learning (formative)

Students will receive feedback on a draft version of their project report

Students will give an informal talk to their tutorial group

Of learning (summative)

Research Project Report (100%)

The mark for the unit is determined as follows:

•performance in the project (mark from project supervisor) 20%

•project report (mark determined as outlined below) 75%

•viva voce (mark from second marker) 5%

Project report: maximum word count is 5,500 for the research project report. If this maximum word count is exceeded, word count penalties will only be applied to the mark awarded for the report. The project report is assessed independently by the project supervisor and the second marker, who agree a single final mark. If the two markers are unable to agree a final mark, the Unit Director or nominee will assess the report and the comments of the two markers and decide the final mark. Vivas will either be conducted in the presence of another member of staff or will be audio-recorded. Audio recordings will only be reviewed in the event of a query into the conduct of the viva exam.

Reading and References

Reviews and articles from the primary scientific literature