Natural Sciences

Frontiers in Science 2 (2020/1)

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Module TitleFrontiers in Science 2 Credit Value30
Module CodeNSC2001 Module ConvenorDr David Horsell
Duration: Term 1 2 3
No. of weeks 11 11
Number students taking module (anticipated) 40
Module description

This module is designed to underpin and develop key skills required by a scientific researcher. It comprises interdisciplinary experimental and theoretical work supported through interactive lectures and online material.

At the heart of the module is the extended experiment, which spans the second term: you will design, build, run and analyse experiments that will require elements of computer programming, physics, biology, chemistry and mathematical modelling. The written report of the project will take the form of a scientific paper. You will also present your results as an oral presentation at a conference held at the end of the module.

Techniques used across the sciences will be introduced and explained in a series of lectures, which you will then use to help shape your project. In addition, you will undertake a series of shorter experiments that are designed to develop core, transferrable scientific skills.

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

Module aims

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 scientific techniques, along with a series of focussed experiments, aim to build an extensive scientific toolkit with which to design advanced future projects.

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:

  • Research skills lectures
  • Short experiments
  • Extended experiment

The lectures are designed to introduce the concepts needed for the practical, analytical and modelling work and to introduce modern scientific techniques. These occur throughout the year. The Short experiments take place in term 1; the Extended experiment in term 2. The module is supported throughout by academics and demonstrators.

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
602400
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching9Research skills lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching27Short experiments
Scheduled Learning and Teaching24Extended experiment
Guided independent study240Additional research, reading and preparation for module assessments
ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Laboratory notebook10-minute discussion3, 5, 7-8Oral
SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
85015
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Literature review/experimental plan151500 words1-2, 4, 7, 9Individual marksheet
Project report404000 words1-9Individual marksheet
Oral presentation1515 minutes2-7Individual marksheet
Short report 15500 words1-9Individual marksheet
Short report 2101000 words1-9Individual marksheet
Abstracts/poster15500 words1-9Individual marksheet
DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Literature review/experimental planLiterature review/experimental plan1-2, 4, 7, 9August assessment period
Project reportProject report1-9August assessment period
Oral presentationIndividual oral presentation2-7August assessment period
Abstracts/PosterAbstracts/Poster1-4, 6-9August assessment period
RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. 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.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 40%.

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

Reading list for this module:

  • G. Ruxton and N. Colegrave: Experimental Design for the Life Sciences (3rd edition), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0199569126
  • M. P. Marder, 'Research Methods for Science', Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 0521145848
  • W. McKinney, 'Python for Data Analysis', O'Reilly Media, ISBN: 1449319793
  • L. Edelstein-Keshet, 'Mathematical Models in Biology', SIAM, ISBN: 0898715547
  • D. B. Murphy and M. W. Davidson, 'Fundamentals of Light Microscopy and Electronic Imaging', Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN: 047169214X
Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Web based and electronic resources
Other resources

 

CREDIT VALUE 30 ECTS VALUE

15

PRE-REQUISITE MODULES

NSC1002 Mathematics and Computing: Integrative Tools for Natural Sciences, NSC1004 Experimental Science, NSC1005 Frontiers in Science 1

CO-REQUISITE MODULES

None

NQF LEVEL (FHEQ)

5

AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING?

No

ORIGIN DATE

19/02/2013

LAST REVISION DATE

28/08/2018

KEY WORDS SEARCH

Natural sciences, experimental investigations, research methods