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Unit information: Research Project in 2018/19

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Unit name Research Project
Unit code PHPH30009
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Kennedy
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

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

Description

Students will conduct an original research project and present their findings in the form of a research dissertation and oral presentation. The unit aims to encourage students to investigate a specific research question in considerable depth and to develop an understanding of the process of scientific research. The project can take a variety of forms:

  • Experimental projects are lab-based and involve the design, conduct and analysis of wet experiments, in which the students collect their own data, or occasionally dry experiments where the students analyse the results of existing data.
  • Non-experimental projects are based on research of the scientific literature and require a detailed literature review on a particular research question and to propose a programme of further research.
  • Teaching projects are based on the assessment of teaching methods and materials used in the undergraduate science and professional courses, for example assessing whether the effectiveness of the human patient simulator as a tool for teaching specific aspects of normal and abnormal physiology.
  • Public engagement projects, students work with an academic to create a resource, aimed at public engagement, based on current the research interest of the PI. The resource is then evaluated by the students.
  • Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme project students research and develop an original physiology/biology based teaching project in partnership with teachers at a local secondary school. This involves the students developing original teaching resources and using them to deliver teaching to A-level pupils on a selected aspect of the A-level curriculum, along with assessment of their effectiveness. A second part of the project involves devising an original physiological experiment that can be conducted by A-level pupils using the resources available in the Faculty teaching labs.


Students list their preferences from a wide range of projects and every attempt is made to allocate them a project according to their first three choices. Lab time for experimental projects is limited to 240 hours.

Intended learning outcomes

  • A deep understanding of a specific scientific or educational question
  • The ability to gather information from the primary scientific and/or educational literature and to critically evaluate the material and appraise competing theories.
  • The ability to present original findings and ideas to a specialist audience in written and oral forms.

Teaching details

Project planning and discussion meetings with project supervisors. Training in experimental techniques and data analysis, if required.

Assessment Details

• Project Dissertation (80%). Projects consist of an abstract and a 5200-word dissertation, except for non-experimental projects and University Ambassadorial Scheme projects, which have a 6500-word dissertation.

• Supervisor's report (10%).

• Oral presentation (10%).

Reading and References

Reviews and key references from the current scientific and/or educational literature

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