Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Biosciences


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to MSci Biology and Physics (FGC0)


  • • Satisfactory completion of level 3 of the Biology and Physics MSci degree (FGC0).


  • • Biological Imaging (4) BIOL4081, Theoretical Physics 4 PHYS4191, Atomic and Optical Physics PHYS4121

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • • None


  • To carry out a laboratory-based research project in a specific topic on biological and physical sciences.
  • To present the results of the research project in the form of a project report and an oral presentation.


  • Supervised practical work and self-directed study.
  • Workshops and tutorials in experimental design, data analysis, laboratory safety, and presentation techniques.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • In depth knowledge and understanding of a selected topic in biological and physical sciences, to the limits of existing knowledge.
  • Knowledge of communication of scientific information in both written and oral forms.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To be able to carry out an independent research-led piece of work in the area of biological sciences, in which qualities such as time management, problem solving and independence are evident.
  • To be able to present the results of practical research in a form accessible to an audience of peers, in the form of an oral presentation.
Key Skills:
  • Literacy, in being able to consult and extract information from printed and on-line archives.
  • Numeracy, in data analysis, statistics and calculation.
  • Communication skills, in presenting report and oral presentation.
  • IT skills, in use of online data bases.
  • Self-motivation, in self-guided learning, independent work on report and poster.
  • Time-management, in planning experimental work.

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

  • Research Project: an extended piece of research, based on academic research being carried out in the Biophysical Sciences Institute. The student has the opportunity to carry out research in a self-directed manner, based on training in generic areas, and on a framework supplied by the project supervisor. The project is assessed by means of project dissertation, based on the model of an MSc thesis, and an oral presentation.
  • Workshops and tutorials: large and small group teaching on background generic topics for project

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Laboratory work 16 weeks 560
Tutorials and workshops 8 1 hour 8
Self-directed learning, project report 2 weeks 32
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Project Dissertation 90%
Oral Presentation 10%

Formative Assessment:


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