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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

The course will help you develop and consolidate your skills in experimental design, sampling, and analysis, presentation, and interpretation of data.

In two 2-hour sessions every week you will work through a series of computer-based data or writing tasks, all centred on biological and environmental themes.

Teaching is informal and friendly. During sessions, staff and demonstrators will chat to you about your progress and provide help.

Assessments are an online multiple-choice test (33%) and an individual project (67%).

The course will help you to go as far and as fast as you can in developing important experimental skills. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Martin Barker

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?


What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course will focus on a series of essential skills, associated with becoming an effective and successful biologist. These enhanced skills include scientific literacy (including writing and critiquing), presentation (including posters, graphical and oral communication) and data handling (including descriptive statistics, experimental design, parametric and non-parametric analysis). The emphasis throughout will be on: consolidating Level 1 (or existing) skills; developing independent study skills and preparing the way for Level 3 courses in SBS.

Further Information & Notes

The course is only open to students with a degree intention in a programme coordinated by SBS. Not available to other students - except visiting exchange students with a relevant degree intention from home university.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment, consisting of 24 (equally-weighted) exercises (100%).

Resit: Submission of any outstanding or failed pieces of coursework, or a two-hour examination. The examination will comprise 70 multiple-choice questions and one-short answer question, all based on the overall course content.

Formative Assessment

Formative on-line tests will help students assess how well they are learning. Student participation in these tests will be monitored. Participation data will alert the course coordinators to any difficulties with individual students in either attainment or attendance.


Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments, audio feedback, or (for online exercises) automated feedback. Groups will also be given generic feedback.
Students who are identified as having difficulty in successfully completing the coursework assessment tasks will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.
A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during seminar and workshop sessions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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