Core Module Information
Module title: Scientific Enquiry

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV07101
Module leader: Nick Wheelhouse
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: LIFE SCIENCES


Description of module content:

This module seeks to develop your understanding of the practice of enquiry led science. You will explore aspects of study design in the context of a variety of research questions which require both field and laboratory approaches to test relevant hypotheses. You will use relevant techniques to collect data and subsequently present, describe and interpret these in relation to the original research question and hypothesis. The skills developed are basic to science and cut across subject disciplines. They include the development of a clear research question or hypothesis, principles of study design, the choice of appropriate descriptive statistics, graphical representation and inferential statistical tests. The accurate recording of the process from the development of the question through the study process and back to the question will be evidenced through the maintenance of a scientific notebook.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Select and produce the most appropriate graphical representation and summary descriptive statistics for a given dataset
LO2: Select and apply the most appropriate inferential statistics to answer a given question
LO3: Evidence the development and justification for an appropriate methodological approach to a given question
LO4: Present and interpret the data collected to test the proposed hypotheses/research questions

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, BLENDED, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: BLENDED
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Nick Wheelhouse
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
This module will involve a variety of methods: an initial series of lectures will introduce the scientific method, the range of techniques available for summarising and presenting data and the parametric and non-parametric tests which can be used to look for differences between and relationships within datasets. These will each be followed by a self-study session where you will make use of a series of video recordings to successfully follow on-line tutorials developing skills in plotting and statistically analysing data. Progress through these will be aligned to successful completion of on-line tests and help sessions with staff will be available. The practical phase will then follow where you will follow the scientific method process from study design and hypothesis production, through data collection and analysis and back to the hypothesis. This will take place over three sessions in one week to highlight the cyclical nature of the process; study design session (2hrs on day one), data collection (full day) and data analysis (3hrs on day three). In order to cover a range of research questions and related practical skills, you will repeat the process on three separate weeks.

Formative Assessment:
Formative Assessment
A series of questions undertaken after each of the three on-line tutorial concerning graph selection and production and statistical methods, will inform you as to the development of their competence in relation to the first summative assessment. These questions can be repeated until all are answered correctly which will allow progress to the next topic. Development of these skills will be required in order to tackle the data subsequently collected in each of the practical rotations in the latter half of the trimester.
The content and format of the lab book will receive formative feedback during the practical sessions to develop reporting skills in relation to the second summative assessment.

Summative Assessment:
Summative Assessment
Half way through the trimester, following completion of the lecture series and on-line activities, graph selection and descriptive and inferential statistical competence will be assessed using an on-line test completed on-campus under controlled exam conditions.
The maintenance of a notebook to accurately record the scientific process from the development of the question and methodological approach, through data collection and analysis and back to the question, will be assessed for one of the three cycles.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 10
Online Guided independent study 8
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 33
Face To Face Fieldwork 3
Independent Learning Guided independent study 146
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 50 1 & 2 6 HOURS= 1, WORDS= 0
Report 50 3 & 4 11 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

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