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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Through regular engagement with the SBS Research Seminar Programme you will increase your appreciation of the diversity of research methologies, thinking, presentation and discussion styles present in the biological and environmental sciences.

By preparing for a meeting with an experienced, visiting scientist you will gain skills in formulating effective interview questions and in structuring a discussion.

Through structured reading you will develop a deeper understanding of two chosen topics and apply this understanding to the seminar's content and the interview with the visiting scientist.

By writing brief reports for dissemination on appropriate social media outlets you will sharpen your writing skills and strengthen your public communication skills.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Full Year Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Rene Van Der Wal

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

  • Either Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • One of BSc Biology (Studied) or BSc Conservation Biology (Studied) or BSc Zoology (Studied) or BSc Animal Ecology (Studied) or BSc Marine Biology (Studied) or BSc Animal Behaviour (Studied) or BSc Behavioural Biology (Studied) or MSci Biological Sciences (Studied) or BSc Biological Sciences (Honours) (Studied) or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences (Studied) or Bachelor Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management (Studied) or BSc Ecology (Studied) or BSc Forestry (Studied) or BSc Forest Sciences (Studied) or BSc Environmental Science (Studied)
  • One of Biology (BI) or Ecology (EK) or Environmental Sciences (EV) or Forestry (FY) or Plant Science (PL) or Zoology (ZO)

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

Throughout the academic year, the School of Biological Sciences hosts visiting scientists as part of a research seminar series.  The topics of the seminars cover the breadth of research interests within the School, capturing the range of disciplines and subdisciplines represented in the School.  This course is structured alongside this seminar series.  Students on the course will contribute to the programme by suggesting topics and scientists to invite.  The aim of the course is to take advantage of the visiting scientists to promote a greater appreciation of the diversity of scientific endeavor, to challenge the students to step beyond their comfort zone and engage with scientific content that is outside their area of study and to develop their communication skills by preparing for a structured discussion with at least two of the visiting scientists and by reporting on at least one of the seminars in the series.  Students will be supported by a team of academics during the course of the seminar series.  This course runs across both semesters but the majority of the activity will fall between November and March.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Attendance at a minimum of 80% of the research seminars (10%), Two structured discussions with visiting speakers (60%), Individual report (600 words) (30%).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Informal verbal feedback and individualised written feedback

Course Learning Outcomes


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