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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 14/03/2022 14:17:44

Title of Module: MSc Research Project

Code: BIOL11005 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 60 ECTS: 30
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Fiona  Henriquez

Summary of Module

The research project will provide students with the opportunity to undertake an original investigation of an advanced or specialised topic relating to the course. It aims to put into practice the taught elements of the course. Students will gain experience of many aspects of research work including planning, experimentation and analysis, interpretation and presentation of results in the form of a scientific paper. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their own work while under the supervision of staff.

The supervisory research team will give formative feedback throughout the project (via weekly meetings and critical examination of the report and laboratory notebook) and summative assessment of reports.On occasion there may be opportunities to undertake this project within industry.

Graduate attributes which will be developed in this module are critical thinking, analytical skills, research ethics, wide range of research skills, problem solving, self motivation,leadership skills, autonmy , drive and resilience.

Please note: The fully online/distance learning version of the module is available only to students currently employed by an appropriate UK-based healthcare provider (e.g. IBMS-approved training site).

This module will work to develop a number of the key 'I am UWS' Graduate Attributes to make those who complete this module:


  • Critical Thinker
  • Ethically-minded
  • Research-minded

Work Ready

  • Knowledgable
  • Effective Communicator
  • Ambitious


  • Autonomous
  • Resilient
  • 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 1


Term 2


Term 3check mark

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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Critically evaluate and summarise current understanding of key scientific research in the form of a written report.

L2. Design and carry out appropriate research in order to rigorously test a scientific hypothesis, or revise current understanding.

L3. Critically evaluate scientific results using appropriate methods and to draw conclusions as to their relevance to current understanding of the field.

L4. Generate a formatted, structured, critical report detailing the background of the research, research aims, methods and analysis and a critical assessment of the research in terms of current understanding of that research area.

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 11.

Critical and integrated understanding of current scientific literature, available research techniques and practice, applicability of appropriate statistical approaches and methods to the project.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Application of advanced laboratory techniques, safety and calculation protocols.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Critically reviewing current, literature relevant to the research topic.
Making judgements where information comes from a number of sources.
Demonstrating a high degree of originality in dealing with professional level issues relating to the research project.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Interpreting, using and evaluating a unique range of numerical or graphical data. Presentation of scientific knowledge through report writing, poster and oral communication skills.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Designing a work profile, meeting deadlines for reports and presentations. Integrating project requirements with technical support staff responsible for laboratories and specialist equipment.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:Students will have undertaken BIOL11007 Research Design or QUAL11023 Postgraduate Research Methods
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The aim of this module is to experience a short independent scientific research project. This module is student-led in so far as students are responsible for the planning and implementation of the project work (in consultation with relevant staff members). Planning will require a review of the appropriate literature and identification of the project aims. Performing practical work to achieve the agreed aims while working within health and safety and ethical guidelines. Practical work will be appropriately recorded and analysed. The completed, experimental procedures are presented as a scientific paper, consistent with the style of a relevant journal. In this, candidates are required to follow Instructions to Authors, which are provided by every journal.
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)
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop300
Independent Study300
600 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; electronic journals, advanced textbooks as per advice of each project supervisor

(**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

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Attendance at synchronous sessions (meetings with supervisor(s), tutorials, Health and Safety and laboratory induction and practicals), completion of asynchronous activities, and submission of assessments to meet the learning outcomes of the module. Attendance at synchronous sessions is not required for students undertaking the distance learning version of the module.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardBiological Sciences and Health
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBiology L7-11
ModeratorSteven Kelly
External ExaminerD Stobo
Accreditation DetailsThis module is part of the MSc Advanced Biomedical Science programme; accredited by Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS).
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Critical review of the relevant literature 30% of module mark
project work (planning and implementation, performance) 10%;
logbook 10%
Written thesis in form of scientific paper 50%
(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
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck mark   300

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesis  check markcheck mark500
Workbook/ Laboratory notebook/ Diary/ Training log/ Learning log check mark  100
Performance/ Studio work/ Placement/ WBL/ WRL assessment check mark  100
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
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical and/or laboratory-based learning or assessment required to meet accrediting body requirements the University will make reasonable adjustment such as adjustable height benches or assistance of a ‘buddy’ or helper.
Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at the following link:

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.