Module code: MMIM027

Module Overview

During this module students will learn about the theory and practice of specialised experimental techniques and receive training specific to their project proposal in an active research laboratory. It will build upon the basic skills already learned in linked module MMIM026 (Research Methods 1). Students will also develop the reflective skills that will underpin out their Research Project (MMIM030) in Year 2.


Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

SIMMONDS Rachel (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 1

Workshop Hours: 1

Independent Learning Hours: 30

Tutorial Hours: 10

Laboratory Hours: 108

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Students will also receive one-to-one practical training in the techniques outlined in their research proposal (MMIM011). This will take place in an active research lab, usually that of the academic supervisor, and these contact hours will not be timetabled. By the end of the module, students will be expected to demonstrate competency in 3 techniques in a Practical Training Portfolio, chosen from a list provided of suitable techniques. Progress will be monitored in fortnightly tutorials, during which the students must explain one of their techniques to the group. Formative feedback on the portfolio will also be given in these sessions. 

Students will also develop their Reflective Practice during this module, by means of a specific tutorial and research meetings with their academic supervisor, where problem solving and troubleshooting of experimental techniques will take place.

Provisional timetable:  


Staff member



Introduction to the module and Practical Training Portfolios

Rachel Simmonds and Academic Supervisors

Sem 2 week 1

2 hours


Academic Supervisor

Sem 2 week 1

1 hour

Tutorial 1 - Choice of Key Skills

Dr Rachel Simmonds

Sem 2 week 2

2 hours

Tutorial 2 - Presentation of Key Skill 1

Dr Rachel Simmonds

Sem 2 week 4

2 hours

Tutorial 3 - Presentation of Key Skill 2

Dr Rachel Simmonds

Sem 2 week 6

2 hours

Tutorial - Reflective Practice

Dr Rachel Simmonds

Sem 2 week 7

1 hour

Tutorial 4 - Presentation of Key Skill 3

Dr Rachel Simmonds

Sem 2 week 8

2 hours


Reflective writing

Sem 2 week 8


Tutorial 5 - Presentation of Key Skill 4

Dr Rachel Simmonds

Sem 2 week 10

2 hours

Portfolio submission


Sem 2 week 11


Tutorial 4

Dr Rachel Simmonds

Sem 2 week rev

2 hours


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation ORAL EXAMINATION 70

Alternative Assessment

Oral exam 70 Reflection on project proposal 30 Students must successfully complete their Training Development Portfolio to pass this module

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence in the theory and practice of specialised experimental techniques, and their ability to reflect on their laboratory practice.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A training portfolio assessed by a Portfolio Assessor who is a member of academic staff but not the supervisor. Competency will be measured by: evidence from the student's laboratory book, witness statements, and/or copies of presentations in lab meetings. Students must successfully complete the portfolio but no mark will be given (submission deadline week 11)

  • An oral exam to assess students understanding of the techniques they have learned (45 minutes; scheduled in exam week)

  • A piece of reflective writing on the student’s previous project proposal (500 words, submission deadline week 9)


Formative assessment and feedback


Students will be given regular feedback throughout the module

  • Fortnightly tutorials with the student’s academic supervisor

  • Mid-module feedback on the Portfolio with their Portfolio Assessor

Instant feedback during the laboratory training sessions

Module aims

  • Provide students with training in specialised experimental methods within the field of Medical Microbiology
  • Develop a student's ability to work independently and accurately in the laboratory by enhancing their reflective practice
  • Extend students' ability to apply and explain their theoretical knowledge

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Explain and discuss experimental methodology KCP
2 Apply knowledge of selected experimental methods in a practical laboratory setting CPT
3 Demonstrate practical competency in selected experimental methods PT
4 Reflect on their own experimental practice and project proposal CP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning


The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with training in the theory and practice of specialised techniques in Medical Microbiology. Training will be provided on a one-to-one basis by either the academic supervisor or a post-doctoral research assistant in an active research lab. Students will then undergo experiental learning, taking time to develop their competence in given techniques with increasing independence under the guidance of regular tutorials with the academic supervisor and module organiser.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Workshop on Reflective Practice (see provisional timetable above)

  • Regular academic supervisory meetings

  • One-to-one training (approximately 30 hours)

  • Independent practice of techniques (approximately 60 hours)

  • Independent study to compile the portolio and undertake self-reflection


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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MMIM027

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.