Module title: Research Methods

SCQF level: 09:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: BMS09108
Module leader: David Smith
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Microbiology & Drug Discovery

Knowledge on how to search for scientific information in databases.
Awareness of how to store and manage scientific information such as journal artic

2019/0, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: David Smith
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module will be taught using a mixture of lectures, tutorials and hands on practical sessions designed to explain the principles of the research process, experimental design and evaluation of information. Online materials will provide a grounding in the relevant considerations and students are expected to engage independently with materials and exercises provided electronically. To ensure every learner is as active as possible all classes will contain collaborative interactive exercises based on the online materials and suggestions for further study. Questions are encouraged within all face to face teaching and via Moodle.

Formative Assessment:
This is a core module which is a building block for all the Biological Sciences degrees therefore it is essential that students are able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in all areas of the subject. A range of learning resources will be made available via Moodle to help support students with their learning, including a weekly series of formative self-assessment tests that allow students to build and test their knowledge of the various techniques and to prepare them for the summative assessments. Students will have the opportunity to discuss their annotated bibliography with a member of the team and to receive guidance on during workshop sessions within the module.

Summative Assessment:
Appropriate presentation of data and data analysis will be assessed through online tests, building on the formative materials available. Summative tests will take place in weeks 6, 9 and 12.
Critical evaluation and understanding of experimental design will be assessed through the production of an annotated bibliography (report- week 13) in an area of the student’s interest.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 5
Face To Face Tutorial 10
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 20
Independent Learning Guided independent study 165
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Class Test 50 2,3 & 4 12 HOURS= 3
Report 50 1 & 5 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1500
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

This module is designed to engage you with a variety of methods used in modern research, to critically evaluate published information and allow you to understand different methods for solving a scientific problem. You will learn about experimental design and use of a wide range of different statistical tests to analyse and interpret data. You will develop your ability to critically evaluate and summarise scientific information. You will be introduced to research ethics and also legal frameworks that govern aspects of the research process and also how research information is reported for example to regulatory bodies, stakeholders or the public using a variety of examples. We will look at aspects of qualitative and quantitative analysis and also where use of a combined approach may be beneficial for some problems. Throughout this module a range of examples will be used to encourage problem solving and to allow you to identify issues with experimental design and also to ensure a subject based focus for learning. This module will give you a foundation of skills that will be applied in other modules and provides you with a range of tools that will aid planning and design of your final year research project.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Understand the research process, considerations of experimental design and data collection
LO2: Summarise and present data using appropriate graphs and descriptive statistics
LO3: Select and apply the appropriate statistical test for use on different types of quantitative data
LO4: Evaluate the appropriate use of quantitative and qualitative techniques in different situations
LO5: Critically evaluate and summarise scientific information

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader