Work-based Learning, Research and Professional Skills

Module summary

Module code: BIOL1047
Level: 5
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s):



This course aims to provide students with the opportunity to integrate their work-based experience with their academic programme of study. Students will be encouraged to reflect upon their personal and professional development and to make connections between their academic study and their work experience. It will also provide students with the opportunity to analyse the modes of operation within the work place and to gain a fuller understanding of the nature of the work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Identify and apply appropriate statistical methods for analytical data interpretation.
2 Select appropriate techniques / methodologies for the investigation of samples processed in the working environment.
3 Evaluate the benefits and limitations of analytical techniques encountered in the working environment.
4 Critically analyse data obtained by the application of analytical techniques.
5 Monitor and review the ongoing effectiveness of a planned activity and modify it accordingly.
6 Identify ethical considerations, and evaluate risk to health and safety in professional practice.
7 Demonstrate the ability to reflect upon their experiences in the workplace.
8 Develop a professional profile.

Skill Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
1. Demonstrate effective communication skills through written reports and oral presentations of a professional standard.
2. Show time management and organisational skills by working to deadlines.
3. Show team working skills.
4. Use the library and internet resources effectively and develop independent study skills.
5. Use, present and interpret numerical data.

Indicative content

The scientific methods, principles of scientific investigation, publications and literature review. Biostatistics; including; sampling, randomisation, distribution.Statistical tests including; Chi square, t-test, F-test, Poisson, analysis of variance, categorical and ranked sum analysis. Presenting scientific data.Bioinformatics and experimental design. Research ethics, health and safety and risk management.
Professional development.

Laboratory based work.
Students will gain in-depth experience of one of the areas outlined below.
Biomedical Science students: immunocytochemistry and immunofluorescence, cytology and cytological methods, chromatographic analysis (e.g. GLC, HPLC), spectrophotometric analysis, ELISA techniques, electrophoresis, PCR, bacterial detection and isolation techniques,
characterisation and identification of bacteria, cell culture and virus isolation, viral antigen detection, cytochemistry, immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry, coagulation disorders,
immunoelectrophoretic techniques, patient grouping, antibody detection, major histocompatibility complex and transplantation.
Pharmaceutical Science students will analyse samples which may involve the following: techniques: chromatographic analysis (TLC, GLC, HPLC, gel-filtration, ion-exchange, affinity), DNA analysis, PCR, electrophoresis, fluorescence spectroscopy, microscopy, spectrophotometric techniques (UV-VIS, IR, NMR, atomic spectroscopy), mass spectrometry

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be delivered through lectures, workshops and laboratory-based work. The principles will be explained in the lectures, tutorials and workshops.Project work will simulate activities carried out in the workplace and will make practical use of the theoretical principles introduced. Development of group working and presentational skills will also take place in tutorials, workshops and practical work.Students will visit appropriate workplaces to gain experience of how professional laboratories operate.


Worksheets - 25%
Data analysis and interpretation, bioinformatics, research design.
Formative assessment - Written and verbal questions in tutorials and workshops.
LO - 1-4

PDP - 20%
Includes; curriculum vitae and cover letter, completed PDP portfolio, attendance at employability conferences and workshops.
LO - 7-8

Reflective Essay - 15%
1500 words.
Summary of the organisation and working of a professional laboratory.
LO - 6-8

Project - 40%
5000 words.
Written report and oral presentation of project work.
Formative assessment - Preparation of an abstract and oral presentation of intended project.
LO - 1-6

Pass mark - 40% overall.