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Advanced Laboratory Skills

Module titleAdvanced Laboratory Skills
Module codeBIOM549
Academic year2021/2
Module staff
Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

In this module you will be trained in advanced techniques used in Biosciences research. You will get experience in assessing experiments for COSHH and risk assessment. You will perform advanced experiments and write up the results in a scientific report. You will carry out an analysis on historical data to get experience in processing a range of data sets. This module will be invaluable to prepare you for the research project.

This module will take place in term 1 in order to prepare you for your research project. Please note that the timing of the laboratory sessions and the activities will be specific to each theme.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to ensure you are trained in the appropriate methodological skills to prepare you for your research project and will provide you with important skills of analysis of experimental data, scientific report writing and different ways of presenting data.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain the principles of advanced bioscience techniques covered and have an awareness of the applications of these techniques in biosciences research
  • 2. Collect your own experimental data in a subdiscipline of biosciences
  • 3. Explain the relevant health and safety issues associated with laboratory/field work in a subdiscipline of biosciences
  • 4. Interpret experimental data obtained using experimental techniques

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Describe comprehensively some techniques applicable to research in a subdiscipline of the biosciences
  • 6. With minimal guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, practical investigation and enquiry within the biosciences
  • 7. Critically evaluate experimental data

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Collect and interpret appropriate data and complete research-like tasks with limited guidance
  • 9. Work in a small team and deal proficiently with the issues teamwork requires (eg communication, motivation, decision-making, awareness, responsibility, and management skills, including setting and working to deadlines)
  • 10. Communicate ideas, principles and theories fluently by written, visual and verbal means.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module will comprise: 30 hours of practical training with a senior scientist.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching30Laboratory practical activities
Guided Independent Study40Analysis of Historical data
Guided Independent Study10Web-based activities on ELE
Guided Independent Study20Reading around practical topics
Guided Independent Study50Preparation


Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Risk assessment 101 hour3Written
Laboratory Write-up 402,500 words1,2, 4-10Written
Data Analysis presented as a scientific poster40Poster (approx. 1000 words)1,4-7,10Written and oral
Practical Observation during laboratory sessions/fieldtrip1010 hours1,2,5,6,8,9Written and oral


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Risk assessmentRisk assessment3August/September
Laboratory Write-upLaboratory Write-up1,2,4-10August/September
Data Analysis (Poster)Data Analysis (Poster)1,4-7,10August/September
Practical ObservationNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The practical observation assessment is not deferrable due to its practical nature. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Reading materials specific to your research theme will be supplied.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Laboratory skills, research, experimental design, health and safety, data handling, data analysis

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date