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Unit information: Concepts and Skills in 2020/21

Unit name Concepts and Skills
Unit code PHPH30007
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Langton
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


This unit aims to provide training in core skills and techniques that are vital to effectively, read, interpret and criticise the scientific literature, as well as to analyse and communicate scientific findings. It includes: statistics; data quantitation; limits of scientific understanding; critical reading of research literature; scientific writing and presentation; public engagement with science; ethics of animal and human experimentation.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, student will be able to demonstrate:

  • Application of common statistical and analytical methods relevant to biomedical science
  • A critical approach to reading scientific publications
  • An understanding of how to communicate science to a variety of audiences

Teaching details

Lectures, workshops and online tutorial exercises on statistics

Assessment Details

The unit will be assessed through:

  • Timed assessment in January (50%), consisting of multiple choice questions based both on the students statistical understanding and prior statistical analysis of a range of datasets. This assesses statistical understanding and is preceded by a formative assessment, using the same format.
  • Coursework (50%) demonstrating critical reading of research papers and concise communication of key points. Assessed skills will include insight into research methodology and issues to be considered when interpreting reported experimental results.

Reading and References

Selected original research papers from the scientific literature