Module code: MMIM030

Module Overview

The research project provides the student with an in-depth training in laboratory investigation and the associated skills that are at the heart of the Med Micro MSc: the aim of the program is to allow students to “develop critical and analytical skills such that they can identify problems, formulate hypotheses, design experiments, acquire and interpret data and draw conclusions.” These are implicit in the successful completion of a research project.

Students are involved in the projects from their inception. The research project is the culmination of the research methodology modules that the students undertake in year 1. Learning how to critical analyse the scientific literature takes place in year 1 semester 1 and training for the laboratory techniques that the students use for their project is carried out in year 1. Therefore the students perform much of the work for their research project independently (although under academic supervision for guidance and support) and the research project will allow the students to apply these skills to a detailed area of study.

The project will normally be laboratory based and must contain a substantial proportion of original work. Under exceptional circumstances, a project that is not laboratory based may be acceptable, but only with the agreement of the Board of Studies and the external examiners. Surveys, repetition of other work, or evaluation of test kits or other established procedures are not, in themselves, sufficient, although they may form the starting point for an acceptable project.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

BESTE Dany (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Laboratory Hours: 600

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

There is no specific content for this module – each project is unique

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) DISSERTATION 90
Oral exam or presentation VIVA VOCE EXAMINATION 10

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their practical, writing and critical analysis skills and their ability to defend their research through a viva voce examination. The dissertation itself enables students to demonstrate written skills per se, but also their ability to critically analyse the literature as well as their own data and their ability to place it in context. The Viva Voce examination can explore critical analysis and knowledge of the subject area in both the wider context and in more detail.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A dissertation (normally around 15,000 words but no more than 25,000 words).

  • A viva voce examination

Formative assessment and feedback

Students are given regular feedback through research supervision meetings with their academic supervisor. As the deadline for submission approaches, students also receive feedback on their dissertation – indeed it is a requirement of the module that supervisors have seen at least one full draft of the dissertation.

Module aims

  • Provide students with an opportunity to gain experience of planning, executing and reporting an in-depth scientifcproject that is all their own work and could provide a strong background to a subsequent PhD
  • Develop a student's ability to identify either a scientific problem or a testable hypothesis and to explore that question applying appropriate scientific methodology
  • Provide students with the skills required to critically analyse their own data throughout the project and play an active role in the direction of the research
  • Develop scientific writing and verbal communication skills

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Design appropriate experiments to test a hypothesis PT
002 Demonstrate good research practice in their scientific approach T
003 Critically analyse their results critically, using mathematical and statistical methods CT
004 Explain their findings both in the light of previous work and in the broader context K
005 Be able to write and defend a detailed, well-constructed scientific report KCPT

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 support each student’s individual requirements, which will depend on the student and the nature of the project. Students are supported and guided in their own endeavours through regular research supervision meetings with their academic supervisor, and additional advanced laboratory training if appropriate.

The research project is appropriate to the field of Medical Microbiology and students are assigned one or more academic supervisors from the Department of Microbial and Cellular Sciences who are the most appropriate for that project based on their experience and expertise. In some (but not all) cases, supervisors may recommend other courses which are appropriate to fill in existing gaps in knowledge or experience.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Independent practical experimentation (4 days/week for one calender year).

  • Independent study to access, interpret and assess the relevant scientific literature

  • Regular research supervisory meetings/tutorials (recommended to be at least once per fortnight).

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: MMIM030

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Medical Microbiology (EuroMasters) MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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.