Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2013-2014 (archived)

Module BIOL3451: Literature Review

Department: Biological and Biomedical Sciences

BIOL3451: Literature Review

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2013/14 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Satisfactory completion of at least two Level 2 modules in Biological Sciences.


  • At least two other Level 3 modules in Biological Sciences.

Excluded Combination of Modules


  • To review the literature associated with a chosen topic of biological sciences in depth.
  • To identify areas of weakness in currently published research.
  • To identify areas of the topic that could be the subject of further work.
  • To work Independently.
  • To communicate the results in a logical and concise written report.
  • To communicate the results in the form of a poster.


  • There will be workshops in:
  • critical assessment of literature;
  • experimental design;
  • ethics and regulation;
  • bibliographic databases;
  • poster presentations.
  • There will be tutorials in:
  • the subject area to study.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • At the end of the module students should be able to communicate an in depth knowledge and understanding of a selected topic in biological sciences in both written and poster forms.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to critically select appropriate literature for inclusion in a review.
  • Students should be able to place the topic in context and describe current and emerging developments in this area.
  • Students should be able to identify areas of weakness in a research area and propose ways of addressing these.
Key Skills:
  • Students should demonstrate self-motivation.
  • Students should be able to critically assess scientific literature for strengths and weaknesses.
  • Students should be able to produce a clear and concise literature review report.
  • Students should be able to present a summary of their findings in the form of a poster presentation.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Workshops, Tutorials, Literature Review Report and a Poster presentation.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 3 1 hour 3
Workshops 6 1 hour 6
Preparation & reading 191
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Poster presentation 20%
Literature Review Report 80%

Formative Assessment:

<enter text as appropriate for the module>

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University