CURRENT TOPICS IN BIOSCIENCES - 2020/1

Module code: BMS1029

Module Overview

The topics span different bioscience disciplines and are chosen each academic year from recent high-profile reports in the literature and in the media (e.g. antimicrobial resistance; decline in bee populations; obesity and diabetes; stem cell research). Key skills relating to searching the literature and communicating findings from scientific research are taught as part of tutorials and seminars.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

CAMPAGNOLO Paola (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: C990

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A  

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Introductory lecture

  • Tutorial: how to perform a literature search

  • Tutorial: writing a news article

  • 3 topic lectures; topic list refreshed each year to reflect importance and currency

  • Seminars: student presentations


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK - LITERATURE SEARCH EXERCISE 30
Coursework COURSEWORK - NEWS ARTICLE 30
Coursework COURSEWORK - SEMINAR 40

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate


  • Accurate reporting of a  bioscience subject in a news article, suitable for people without a science background to understand

  • Accuracy and creativity in the communication of topical issues in bioscience in the form of a seminar presentation or short documentary

  • Understanding of the importance of using sources that provide reliable peer-reviewed information to be assessed via a SurreyLearn test, and put in to practice in all other assessments on this module

  • Interpretation and summarization of scientific topics for communication to a wider audience in the form of two newspaper articles

  • Contribution to group-work, and assessment of the performance of a peer in the group



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • Literature search test, via SurreyLearn; deadline: System Week 7

  • One 250-word news articles; deadline: System Week 11

  • Seminars start in weeks 13; submission of materials for seminar presentation: System Week 12



Formative assessment and feedback


  • Literature search practice test, via SurreyLearn

  • 250-word news articles: workshop and tutorial at start of module

  • Seminar presentations: timetabled sessions for group-work allow groups to discuss ideas with module organiser


Module aims

  • Investigate a range of cutting-edge developments in bioscience subjects
  • Offer guidance on how to perform literature searches for peer-reviewed scientific publications
  • Illustrate the differences between good and bad scientific communication
  • Discuss and present specific devlopments in bioscience on a scientific level including, where appropriate, ethical considerations
  • Develop good management and organisational skills via the production of a seminar or short documentary about a current bioscience topic

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Understand current topics of worldwide importance in bioscience subjects K
2 Identify and communicate issues of topical importance in bioscience in the form of a seminar presentation or short documentary. KCPT
3 Understand the importance of using sources that provide reliable peer-reviewed information CPT
4 Interpret and summarize scientific topics for communication to a wider audience in the form a newspaper article. KCPT
5 Assess and provide feedback on the performance of a peer in a selection of situations. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 136

Lecture Hours: 14

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Teach key skills that allow students to learn how to study independently for this module and beyond. Tutorials teach key skills that allow students to learn how to study independently for this module and beyond. They are designed to encourage discussion about the best way to search for reliable information and communicate scientific findings to others.

The lectures are designed to maintain interest in key science subjects and keep students informed of the latest developments.

Seminars encourage collaborative work.

The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Approximately 14 hours of lectures, tutorials, and seminars.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for CURRENT TOPICS IN BIOSCIENCES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/bms1029

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Microbiology BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.