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Research Methods in the Biosciences


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Dr Paul King
  • Assessment: two problem-solving tests (25% each) and two sets of numerical problem and data analysis homework (25% each)

Module description

In this module you will gain a sound foundation in research skills and statistical concepts and their application to problems in biomolecular science. You will consider project planning, literature review, experimental design, risk assessment and ethics. Additionally, content will build on the foundation from Level 4, providing further practice in the construction and testing of statistical hypotheses, interpretation of statistical results, and presentation of numerical data.

Indicative syllabus

  • Scientific data, its summary and graphical presentation
  • Statistical hypotheses and hypothesis testing
  • Statistical aspects of experimental design
  • Use of online data sources
  • Practical aspects of project planning, including experimental design, preparation of a research proposal and costing
  • Risk assessment and COSHH
  • Experimental ethics

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate the skills involved in planning a research project
  • demonstrate knowledge of experimental design, risk assessment and COSHH
  • demonstrate knowledge of ethical aspects of experimentation
  • demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding of statistical methods of data analysis as applied to biomedical science and structural molecular biology
  • choose the correct statistical analysis to perform and correctly interpret the results of the analysis
  • correctly present numerical data in a graphical format
  • apply statistical principles in the area of experimental design.