Module code: BMSM023

Module Overview

This module will follow as a natural development from the grant proposal project, undertaken at level 6 in BMS3048.

In this module students will execute a planned period of in-depth research to address a biochemical research problem. Students will undertake this research from January; designing and undertaking the research in conjunction with their supervisor. Students will analyse and evaluate the results appropriately and discuss them in a critically evaluative manner. Students understanding of the research and their findings will be assessed by production of a written scientific paper, presentation of the project and an oral viva voce examination at the end of the project.

The supervisor will evaluate the student based on their engagement with the research project and provide an assessment of their competency in the research field.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

PETIT Marine (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Seminar Hours: 3

Tutorial Hours: 3

Laboratory Hours: 594

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BMS3048 Research Project

Module content

  • Lists of project titles and ideas will be provided to students at level 6, where they will have developed and submitted a grant proposal project for BMS3048.

  • This grant proposal will contain the planned skill development portfolio, assessed in BMSM024 Developing as a Scientist: Advanced Techniques in Biochemistry, which will be completed in semester 1 of level 7.

  • The skills sign off completed in BMSM024 Developing as a Scientist: Advanced Techniques in Biochemistry will lead directly into the project, enabling the student to begin the research project as soon as possible in January of level 7.

  • Project progress will be monitored with weekly supervisory meetings.

  • The reporting of the project findings will be via a written research paper developed over the course of semester 2, and in conjunction with the assessment portfolio for BMSM021 Developing as a Biochemist: Effectively Communicating Science in Modern Society.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Written Scientific Paper 50
Oral exam or presentation Viva Voce oral examination 20
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Presentation of project 20
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Supervisor Assessment 10

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • cognitive and analytical skills, scientific writing and communications skills.


  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Written scientific paper, 50% of the module weighting.  This assesses learning outcomes 1-5.

  • Viva voce oral examination, 20% of the module weighting. This assesses learning outcomes 1-3, & 5.

  • Presentation of project, 20% of module weighting. This assesses learning outcomes 1-3, & 5.

  • Supervisor assessment, 10% of the module weighting.  This assesses learning outcomes 1-5.


Formative assessment

Supervisory meetings in which the student will receive feedback on performance, and which will have direct impact on the day-to-day activity of the student in the lab.  In addition, students will be given the opportunity to have feedback from their supervisor on a draft of their written scientific paper and slides for their presentation of project and viva.



Laboratory and supervisory feedback, feedback on written scientific paper, presentation of project and oral examination.

Module aims

  • • Aims To build on experience in information retrieval relevant to a specific topic of research
  • • To acquire and develop specific practical research skills
  • • To develop and expand the student's capacity for independent investigation
  • • To develop written presentation skills applicable to the publication of original research findings in the scientific literature

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Use literature data search fascilities to undertake in depth literature evaluations of a research area KCPT
002 Criticaly interpret, assess and appraise the rigour and quality of scientific literature KCPT
003 Plan, execute and evaluate a scientific research project with support from a supervisor KCPT
004 Produce high quality scientific literature from the literature, methods and results obtained KCPT
005 Explain, present and defend research findings 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:

Develop independent research skills and competencies and provide a structured framework to enhance and develop critical and analytical skills.


The learning and teaching methods include:

Completion of a research project during semester 2 (January-May), this period of time will be purely spent in active research. Tutorials may be scheduled with module leadership team to ensure students are progressing, and the supervisor will meet regularly with the student to ensure they are progressing satisfactorily.

This will give students the opportunity to experience full-time research for 4 months.  They will have opportunity to work independently and encouraged to consider and make suggestions in terms of the next steps of their project.  This will enable them to develop curiosity, but also resilience.  The majority of students will become part of their supervisor’s lab and are likely to take part in lab meetings and journal clubs where they will experience other’s research. 

The types of projects proposed have a vast range, all consider evolving topics, many will have a global outlook.


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: BMSM023

Other information

Resourcefulness and resilience

This is an individual research project where a student works closely with a supervisor and potentially a supervisory team.  The research project starts off as a grant proposal in BMS3048, where students critically appraise published work and propose their approach.  Laboratory skills, writing skills and presentation are further refined and reflected on in BMSM024 and BMSM021 (respectively), semester 1.  In semester 2 the research project is a full-time experience (60 credit module) in a research laboratory. Students are encouraged to generate ideas, experimental approaches, perform experimental procedures and interpret their results independently.


Global and cultural capabilities

There are generally between 25-40 individual projects offered as part of this module. The extent to which each project deals with global and cultural capabilities varies.  In addition, students will be required to work with their supervisor/supervisory team, and contribute to a diverse and inclusive environment, facilitating cultural competence.



Students consider and employ sustainable practices in the project laboratory, with discussions on the appropriate use of controls in experimental designs that are ultimately critical for experimental outcomes to be achieved while waste and safety hazards are minimised.  


In line with One Health approachmany research projects will work towards relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) like SDG3 (health).

Reducing cost of disease burden across the life course by understanding molecular and cellular pharmacological processes in health and disease, leading to interventions to promote health and prevent or treat disease.  Consider the requirement, appropriateness and reliability of animal models of disease.


Digital capabilities

The generation of data and analysis is required in all projects.  Students have the opportunity to select in silico and computational projects. Some projects include the use of specialist analytical software.



This module requires the student to work full-time in a research laboratory environment on their project.  They are also required to present, write-up and defend their project.  Therefore, this module gives a 'real-world' experience of being a research scientist.

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 2025/6 academic year.