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Professional Development Experience

Module titleProfessional Development Experience
Module codeBIO3912
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Steven Porter (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

A Professional Development Experience module provides promising second and final year biosciences students with the opportunity to become involved in cutting-edge research in close collaboration with a member of staff in an area of interest. During the internship, you will take responsibility for one or more aspects of a research project. The tasks that you work on vary from project to project, but may initially include, literature searches, data entry and general research administration. As you gain experience you may have the opportunity to progress to more advanced tasks such as data collection, and data analysis and reporting. This module is especially recommended if you are considering a career in research (industry or academic). Acceptance into this module is competitive and by agreement with your research supervisor and module co-ordinator. You are expected to meet a high academic standard (and typically to have achieved high upper second or first class grades in associated subject areas) and demonstrate a strong enthusiasm for the area of research.

This module does not contribute towards degree progression or award.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to improve your research skills (which may include research design, data collection, data processing or project management), your knowledge of a cutting-edge area of biosciences research and your employability (a clearer sense of the nature of a career in research; the development of skills and knowledge relevant to a career in research and evidence of these achievements).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Design / conduct at an advanced level a research study and analyse / interpret findings in line with your project responsibilities
  • 2. Describe theories, research and experimental techniques in the area of your project in line with your project responsibilities
  • 3. Explain in depth how your specific project is associated with a career in research and illustrate the pathway to pursuing this career

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Acquire a critical understanding of knowledge at the forefront of an area of the discipline
  • 5. Think critically about the limits of knowledge and methodologies for obtaining this knowledge
  • 6. Evaluate critically and analyse evidence

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. Take responsibility for a research project in line with your project responsibilities and demonstrate professionalism in your delivery on your tasks
  • 8. Act autonomously with appropriate levels of supervision or direction, within agreed guidelines
  • 9. Manage time effectively to meet deadlines

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Regular meetings are held with the supervisor throughout the module. Each member of staff contributing to the module offers research project topic(s). As far as possible, students will be matched with staff who are conducting research within their area of interest. The supervisor will ensure that any necessary training is delivered in a timely fashion and that the intern receives an induction on their first day. Supervisors will meet regularly with the interns throughout the internship to ensure that they are adequately supported and that they have the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experiences. Supervisors will schedule a review session that will coincide with the midway point of the internship to discuss the progress of the internship.

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 Teaching30Supervised internship activities
Guided Independent Study115Unsupervised internship activities
Guided Independent Study5Production of lab book or poster


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Weekly supervisor discussion30 minutes2-9Oral

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
Lab book or poster501500 words1-6Written
Internship participation50Competent completion of internship tasks 7-9Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Lab book or posterLab book or poster1-6August ref/def
Internship participationNot 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 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 40%) you will be required to re-submit the lab book or poster. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.

The internship participation is neither referable nor deferrable because of its practical nature.


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

The Career Zone:

CVs and Making Applications

click on ‘Jobs and Work’then ‘Applications and Interviews’ – useful power word list


Work Experience


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Employability, careers, job application, work experience, internship

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date