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Unit information: Research and Communication Skills in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Research and Communication Skills
Unit code BIOC30001
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Kelly Moule
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


This unit aims to develop the research and communication skills of students. Choosing from a range of topics, students will undertake an independent review of the primary scientific literature and will present their work as a written report. This library-based research project will be guided by a member of academic staff. In addition, students will be tested on their ability to understand and critique research papers and analyse and evaluate scientific data.

Students will:

  • Develop independent working skills
  • Be able to critically analyse and synthesize information presented in research publications
  • Gain important data analysis and evaluation skills

Intended learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Research a topic using the primary scientific literature
  • Review and critique the scientific data and literature and appraise competing theories
  • Achieve an in-depth knowledge and understanding of their research topic and an ability to keep abreast with recent developments in the field.
  • Work independently on their research project and manage their time
  • Analyse and interpret biochemical data
  • Solve unseen problems
  • Write a scientific report for an expert audience

Teaching details

Supervisor/student meetings

Data analysis workshops

Literature comprehension workshops



Assessment Details

For learning (formative)

Project supervisors will give feedback on a draft of the literature review

Students will undertake “mock” Data Handling and Literature Comprehension exercises

Of learning (summative)

Literature Review (40%) Maximum word count is 5,500 for the literature review. The project is marked independently by the project supervisor and a second marker. The mark awarded by the supervisor and the second marker each contributes 50% towards the overall project mark. An explicit marking scheme is used to mark the literature review.

Data Handling exam (35%) 3 hour unseen written examination. Students will analyse and interpret novel biochemical data sets.

Literature Comprehension exam (25%) 3 hour unseen written examination. Students will be expected to read and critically evaluate a short, unseen research paper

Reading and References

Reviews and articles from the primary scientific Literature