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Unit information: Research Skills in 2020/21

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Unit name Research Skills
Unit code PANM33011
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Davidson
Open unit status Not open

PANM22041 Infection and Immunity, PANM22042 Cellular & Molecular Pathology, MOLG22100 Recombinant DNA Technology, MOLG22200 Gene Expression and Rearrangement.


4 from level 6/H lecture units.

School/department School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


Students will carry out a 16 week laboratory or literature/computer-based research project in an area of current interest in cellular and molecular medicine. The Introduction to the project dissertations will require a review of the relevant primary scientific literature. Students will be able to evaluate and discuss the key research papers underlying their project. Students doing laboratory projects will learn experimental skills in an active research laboratory and will learn to disseminate their results in a written dissertation and in an oral presentation and a viva. All students will learn to assess the scientific literature and will evaluate whether appropriate conclusions have been drawn.

The unit aims to allow students to develop the skills necessary to carry out a research project in the field of cellular and molecular medicine. They will read, analyse and interpret scientific data presented in the literature.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of a specific area of modern cellular and molecular medicine, including understanding of the scientific literature pertaining to the project and an ability to evaluate this literature critically.

Knowledge and understanding of design, execution and analysis of research projects.

The ability to reason; analyse and interpret data; identify and solve problems; exercise independence of mind; form and defend scientific judgements.

Transferable skills including the ability to communicate in writing and orally; be self-reliant and organise time effectively; take appropriate decisions when needed; an appropriate level of numeracy and IT skill; plan, execute, interpret, and present the results of experimental work; and manage a research project.

Teaching details

Laboratory project or literature- or computer-based project work.

Specific instruction on data interpretation and data handling will be given within the co-requisite lecture units.

Assessment Details

10 minute project presentation, with 5 minutes for questions will be summatively assessed.

Experimental Project

- a dissertation of 5,500 words, to include a 250 word abstract and a 2,000 word introduction.


Non-experimental Project

- a laboratory research project with a 6,500 word dissertation to include a 250 word abstract and a 2,000 word introduction.

Formative feedback will be provided on drafts of the Introduction and Results or Analysis Sections.

Experimental and Non-experimental projects

Supervisor Marks for originality and effort 10%
Background and Introduction 30%
Results or grant and discussion 40%
Presentation of the Dissertation 10%
Project Talk 10%

Overall weighting: Project 100%

Reading and References

Reviews and primary articles from the current scientific literature relevant to the project.