Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Biosciences


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to C103; C105; C108; B940; B941; B942.


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • • Level 3 Field Course (BIOL3161)


  • To allow students to undertake a series of practical exercises using advanced techniques to study research topics in biological or biomedical sciences


  • Laboratory-based investigations of research topics in biological and biomedical sciences, chosen from a selection of topics offered by the school.
  • Training in application of biological, biochemical and molecular biological techniques underpinning the above.
  • Training in use of online resources relevant for research techniques.
  • Analysis and interpretation of data collected in the laboratory.
  • Training in health and safety aspects of laboratory work.
  • Project design and execution in a laboratory environment.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge of the application of a variety of laboratory methods to investigate physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of plants and animals, or aspects of human biology, chosen from a selection of topics offered by the school..
  • Knowledge of analytical techniques used in the study of biological and biomedical sciences.
  • Understanding of good laboratory practice in safe working, record keeping, and data collection.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to undertake supervised laboratory-based research.
  • Interpretative skills at an advanced level for laboratory-collected data.
Key Skills:
  • Literacy, in being able to consult and extract information from printed and on-line archives.
  • Data analysis, in interpretation and critical analysis of data
  • Communication skills, in presenting report.
  • Team work, in carrying out practical work in the laboratory.
  • Self-motivation, in independent work on report.

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

  • Workshops: extended experimental work in an area of biological sciences, chosen from a selection of topics offered by the school in which the student works as a member of a team. The course involves practically-based training in a residential setting. These courses are taught to smaller groups. The student is given the opportunity to gain experience of a range of practical techniques, often involving the use of state of the art equipment, and is required to produce an extended report involving data analysis.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Practical activities 1 40
Lectures / Seminars 12 1 hour 12
Preparation & Reading 148
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Presentation/poster 20% No
Laboratory report 80% No

Formative Assessment:

Informal tests.

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