Surrey University Stag


Module code: BMSM027

Module Overview

This module provides in-depth training in laboratory investigation and the associated skills that are at the heart of Level 7 studies: 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 and may also continue with their Level 6 dissertation project provided that there is scope to create new hypotheses and avoid overlap with previous work – work to be assessed in this module must be completely distinct from any work assessed as part of Level 6 modules.

During the extended research project students perform much of the work independently (although under academic supervision for guidance and support). The project will normally be laboratory based – alternatives include data analysis projects; bioinformatics, and in silico projects. They must contain a substantial proportion of original work and generate original data sets. 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

ARCHER Simon (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: B900

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 210

Tutorial Hours: 41

Laboratory Hours: 348

Practical/Performance Hours: 1

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

The following timings are not prescriptive, but based on average time spent on the project over two 11 week semesters.

Laboratory / practical work (~16h per week):

Independent study (~9 – 10h per week):

Personal supervision tutorials / training (~2h per week):

This time accounts for the regular meetings between the supervisor or their designate, in addition to time taken for training; health and safety briefings; lab meetings; mock viva etc.

Viva voce (1h): This is a component of the final assessment

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Research project assessments 100

Alternative Assessment

None – N/A

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. This enables students to demonstrate written skills and 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 scientific paper (60%)

• A grant proposal (30%)

• Viva voce (10%)

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 and executing an in-depth and original scientific project
  • 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 by creating a manuscript suitable for publication in a scientific journal
  • Present the long-term aim of the research topic through the creation of a grant proposal
  • Develop verbal communication and critical analysis skills through defence of the project through viva assessment

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Formulate and evaluate appropriate experiments to test a hypothesis PT
002 Demonstrate good research practice in their scientific approach T
003 Apply appropriate mathematical and statistical methods to analyse research findings CT
004 Critically analyse and discuss findings both in the light of previous work and in the broader context K
005 Be able to write a well-constructed scientific report in the form of a scientific research paper CKPT
006 Be able to defend the scientific work orally CPT
007 Demonstrate an understanding of factors that need to be considered when seeking research funding, through drafting a scientific grant proposal CKPT

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:

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 Biomedical Science disciplines and students are assigned one or more academic supervisors from the School of Biosciences and Medicine who are the most appropriate for that project based on their experience and expertise.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Independent practical experimentation.

• 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: BMSM027

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biomedical Science MSci (Hons)(CORE) Year-long Core 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 2022/3 academic year.