MBiol Project

Module summary

Module code: BIOL1051
Level: 7
Credits: 60
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Abigail Rickard



The Project provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their capacity for advanced independent learning and serves to develop students’ critical skills and capabilities. The overarching aim is to develop the candidate’s ability to make an innovative contribution to applied research within the a specific chosen field within the broader discipline of Biology. The project will also assess the candidate’s ability to work independently in the pursuit of the analysis of a novel problem. In general, the project comprises a practical investigation of an appropriate subject. Focusing the project on the solution of an applied problem facilitates the identification of a suitable topic and the necessary data / analysis that is needed for successful completion.

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge and skills to the solution of a specific problem / problems.
2. Critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline.
3. Critically select, review and discuss appropriate publications and documents relevant to the identified problem(s).
4. Understand and apply the principles of research design / procedures.
5. Manage and interpret a range of clinical or other relevant data.

Skills outcomes
6. Demonstrate time management skills by working to deadlines.
7. Use library and web-based / electronic / IT resources effectively.
8. Develop independent learning skills, showing initiative and personal responsibility.
9. Critically evaluate, interpret and present data, including numerical data where appropriate.
10. Develop effective communication skills (including report writing and presentation) and to communicate conclusions clearly to
specialist and non-specialist audiences.
11. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems and act autonomously in planning and implanting tasks
at a professional level.
12. Deal with complex issues systematically and creatively.

Indicative content

Students are required to devise the initial concept for their project, usually in consultation with a chosen supervisor at L6. This proposal will summarise the background and intended methodology and approach and is perceived as an element of self-development and the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility.
There must be sufficient scope within the project for the student to demonstrate critical thought, creativity and independent work. In particular, the project topic should be chosen to enable students to demonstrate the following:
• the investigation, and if appropriate, the solution, of a real problem within Biology
• a critical evaluation and appraisal of relevant published literature;
• the planning and design of a practical research project;
• a creative response to a novel ‘problem’;
• competence in the execution of the procedures;
• the ability to analyse and interpret results and draw reasoned, evidence-based conclusions

Teaching and learning activity

An introductory project session is held for students intending to take the course. At this session students will have an opportunity to discuss the requirements and expectations surrounding Master’s level projects with their supervisors.. In addition, students may contact the Programme Leader so that individualised guidance can be given in advance of the project selection process.
The Programme Leaders will provide appropriate support and guidance during the conduct of the project.
In addition to support and guidance provided directly by advisors / supervisors, an online module in
Moodle is available to give information and guide students through the project process. Guidance in terms of evaluation of research projects / publications, research methodology and statistical analysis will also be provided where necessary.


Project oral presentation
Learning Outcomes LO 1-3, 6, 7, 10
Weighting % 10%
Pass Mark 50%
Word Length
Outline Details Project proposal/outline presentation to explain rationale for work, ahypothesis, aims and methods to be used for project work.

Project report
Learning Outcomes LO 1-12
Weighting % 80%
Pass Mark 50%
Word Length- 10 000 words maximum
Outline Details : Written report

Poster presentation of final project
Weighting % - 10
Pass Mark - 50%
Outline Details: Poster presentation given at presentation day with other M-Level students on other programmes