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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 07/12/2022 13:23:52

Title of Module: Scientific Investigation

Code: CHEM07009 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Callum  McHugh

Summary of Module

This module adopts a student-centred learning approach to the general introduction of scientific investigation with a focus in topic areas appropriate to the degree programme being followed. The development of information retrieval and presentation skills play a key role in this module. Both generic and cohort specific delivery and assessment of the module will undertaken be through a selection of activities such as lectures, case studies, lab-based exercises, reports and presentations.

Specific information retrieval tasks are set throughout the module, with support provided to enable the production of the required outputs.The context within which the material is delivered will vary according to the student’s degree programme and area of interest. 


The general areas covered and assessed are as follows:

  1. The importance of scientific investigation and methodology.
  2. Practical skills in scientific investigation, including (but not limited to) data recording, report writing and presentation skills both oral and written.
  3. Personal Development Planning and reflective practice appropriate to each student’s scientific discipline.

Activities underpinning Personal Development Planning (PDP) are integrated throughout the module and students are required to consider their own reflective practice.


The graduate attributes relevant to this module are given below:

  • Academic:   Critical thinker, analytical, enquiring, knowledgeable, digitally literate, problem solver, autonomous, incisive, innovative
  • Personal:   Effective communicator, influential, motivated, team player
  • Professional:   Collaborative, research-minded, enterprising, ambitious, driven 

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Display knowledge of the basic principles, techniques and applications of scientific investigation methodology.

L2. Demonstrate the development of skills in researching, assembling and presenting information relevant to a specific scientific discipline.

L3. Present information gathered from studies based on specific topics appropriate to the student’s interests.

L4. Demonstrate reflective practice in the evaluation and planning of personal development.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

Developing a basic understanding of the role of scientific methodology.

Developing an appreciation of the various scientific techniques and disciplines involved in investigative scientific procedures in a range of contexts, including forensic science, chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, environmental and health-related disciplines.

Developing an understanding of what is required in scientific report writing and the quality, use and accurate citation of reference materials.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

An appreciation of the use of scientific techniques (such as chromatography, DNA fingerprinting, trace analysis in forensic science). A basic understanding of how they work in routine and non routine contexts.

An understanding of the basic requirements and structure of a scientific report.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Gathering, evaluating and and presenting information, formulating arguments based on evidence, use of word processing in structured report writing, use and citation of references.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Information retrieval from a variety of sources, its assessment and integration. Structured report writing. Presentation of information in a variety of formats using a range of methods.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Working to deadlines and working with others to achieve outcomes within a defined context and timescale. Developing a student centered approach to learning and the application of reflective practice in PDP.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module covers a variety of theoretical and conceptual areas, which require a range of knowledge and skills to be displayed and exercised. Delivery of its syllabus content therefore involves a diversity of teaching and assessment methods suitable to the learning outcomes of the module; these include formal lectures, structured tutorials (work closely integrated with the lecture material), practical work where appropriate, completion and submission of written coursework making use of appropriate forms of IT and VLE, and independent study. Teaching materials will be available on Aula to support delivery of the module.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity24
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Access to library materials (internet, e-journals, books) relevant to individual projects

Access to internet sources relevant to individual projects.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPhysical Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPhysical Sciences
ModeratorDr Mostafa Rateb
External ExaminerI Turner
Accreditation DetailsThis module is accredited by IBMS as part of BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; accredited by IBMS and approved by HPC as part of BSc (Hons) Advanced Biomedical Science; accredited by REHIS as part of BSc (Hons) Environmental Health; accredited by IOSH as part of BSc Occupational Safety and Health. Accredited by Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) as part of BSc (Hons) Chemistry programme.
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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Continuous Assessment - 100 %
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case studycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark750
Demonstrations/ Poster presentations/ Exhibitionscheck mark check markcheck mark250
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is suitable for any student with appropriate background. If disability support is needed to complete the learning activities associated with the module then the University’s Health and Safety Officer should be consulted to ensure that appropriate support is provided.

Current University Policy on Equality and Diversity applies. Further guidance is available from Disability Services or your School Disability Co-ordinator.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.