Natural Sciences

NSC2001 - Frontiers in Science 2 (2015)

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MODULE TITLEFrontiers in Science 2 CREDIT VALUE30
MODULE CODENSC2001 MODULE CONVENERDr David Horsell (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 11 11 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 40
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

This module is designed to underpin and develop key skills required by a scientific researcher. It comprises interdisciplinary research work, practical demonstrations, interactive lectures and colloquia.

At the core of the module is the project, which spans the year: students will design, build, run and analyse experiments that will require elements of computer programming, physics, biology, chemistry and mathematical modelling. Modern apparatus and techniques used across Natural Sciences will be introduced and explained in a series of lectures. Colloquia on hot topics in science will be given by international researchers at the forefront of their fields.

The written report of the main research project will take the form of a scientific paper. Students will also present their results as an oral presentation at a conference held at the end of the module.

This is a compulsory module for students on the BSc/MSci Natural Sciences degree programme.

AIMS - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to introduce and develop the core skills that are required by a modern scientific researcher. These readily transferrable skills include the ability to design, coordinate, conduct and analyse the results of a multidisciplinary research project, and to summarise the project in the form of a scientific paper and conference presentation. Lectures on modern methodologies and instruments aim to build an extensive scientific toolkit with which to design advanced future projects. Colloquia aim to showcase current advances across the scientific disciplines to give context to the topics covered in the rest of the module.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge

1. Source and assimilate scientific literature
2. Plan and execute  experimental investigations
3. Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific results
4. Develop new ideas based on experimental results and model predictions

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge

5. Collaborate effectively with other scientists
6. Use cross-disciplinary approaches to solve scientific problems

Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge

7. Communicate effectively and accurately both orally  and in writing
8. Demonstrate effective use of available tools and resources
9. Bring together knowledge, concepts and context to generate ideas

 

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

The module is divided into three parts:

  1. Project.
  2. Short Experiments and Frontiers lectures.
  3. Colloquium series.

The practical sessions of the Project occur in Term 1 and will be held in both Physics and Biosciences. A fraction of each session will be in the form of a guided lecture that will introduce the concepts that are to be explored in the remainder of the session. The Frontiers lectures occur in Term 2. Each lecture will cover a modern technique in the Life Sciences. The Short Experiments will focus on techniques used in the Physical Sciences. The Colloquia  will occur across Terms 1 and 2. These will cover recent advances in science given by international speakers.

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 79.00 Guided Independent Study 221.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 5 Frontiers Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 16 Short Experiments
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 50 Project
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 6 Student Conference
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 2 Colloquia
Guided independent study 221 Additional research, reading and preparation for module assessments

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Experimental skills assessment 10 minute demonstration 2,5,8 Indivdiual marksheet
Press Release 1 400 words 1,3,7 Indivdiual discussion
       
       
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 85 Written Exams 0 Practical Exams 15
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Literature review/experimental plan 15 1500 words 1, 2, 4, 7, 9 Individual marksheet
Project report 30 2500 words 1-4, 6-9 Individual marksheet
Oral presentation 15 15 minutes 2-7 Individual marksheet
Press release 2 10 400 words 1,3,7 Individual marksheet
Frontiers Challenge 10 Question Set 1,2,6,7,9 Individual marksheet
Short Report 1 10 1500 words 1-4, 6-9 Individual marksheet
Short Report 2 10 1500 words 1-4, 6-9 Individual marksheet

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-assessment
Literature review/experimental plan Literature review/experimental plan 1, 2, 4, 7, 9 August/September assessment period
Project report Formal report 1-4, 6-9 August/September assessment period
Oral presentation Oral presentation 2-7 August/September assessment period
Press release 2 Press Release 2 1,3,7 August/September assessment period
Frontiers Challenge Frontiers Challenge 1,2,6,7,9 August/September assessment period
Short Report 1 Short Report 1 1-4, 6-9 August/September assessment period
Short Report 2 Short Report 2 1-4, 6-9 August/September assessment period

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

Seven assessments are required for this module. The re-assessment will be the same as the original.

The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 40%. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Basic reading:

M. T. Madigan et al., 'Brock Biology of Microorganisms', Pearson Education, ISBN: 032173551X

W. McKinney, 'Python for Data Analysis', O'Reilly Media, ISBN: 1449319793

A. B. Downey, 'Think Python', O'Reilly Media, ISBN: 144933072X

E. Beltrami, 'Mathematics for Dynamic Modeling', Academic Press, ISBN: 0120855666

E. Bender, 'Introduction to Mathematical Modelling', Dover Publications, ISBN: 048641180X

L. Edelstein-Keshet, 'Mathematical Models in Biology', SIAM, ISBN: 0898715547

M. P. Marder, 'Research Methods for Science', Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 0521145848

D. B. Murphy and M. W. Davidson, 'Fundamentals of Light Microscopy and Electronic Imaging', Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN: 047169214X

ELE: http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

Web based and Electronic Resources:

 

Other Resources:

 

Reading list for this module:

There are currently no reading list entries found for this module.

CREDIT VALUE 30 ECTS VALUE 15
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES None
CO-REQUISITE MODULES None
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 5 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Friday 09 January 2015 LAST REVISION DATE Monday 28 September 2015
KEY WORDS SEARCH Natural science, experimental investigations, research methods