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CSC8334 : Contemporary topics in bioinformatics with group project

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Katherine James
  • Lecturer: Dr Jichun Li, Dr Gizem Buldum, Dr Emanuela Torelli
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module focuses on various aspects of scientific research in bioinformatics. It introduces students to key concepts around research planning, organisation, teamwork, and science communication, providing a practical experience to reinforce the learning. It also discusses a number of cases studies involving state of the art bioinformatics analysis, drawing from our own research, to allow students to reflect on what is good and bad science, and understand how the science should be practiced.

Outline Of Syllabus

- Slide design

- Researchpresentation

- Project planning and time management
- Experiment design
- Literature review
- Scientific writing and overcoming procrastination
- Supporting claims with evidence

- Organisation and styling of dissertations

- Ethical, legal, and social implications of research

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00Work on the group project – coursework 1.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion801:0080:00Work on the individual project – coursework 2.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities41:004:00Interviews about MSc/PhD experience
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops82:0016:00Research skills workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Support for the group project
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:0012:00Student led group meetings.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00Lecture follow-up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study361:0036:00Background reading and directed research.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

Online tutorials will be held to support the group project.
Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the taught material through background reading.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M80Individual research plan - video presentation.
Research proposal2M20Group research proposal - slides.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The group research proposal is a low weighted assessment of the ability to brainstorm ideas and work as team to prepare slides supporting a project presentation. It will allow students to practice teamwork, demonstrate research skills, and learn from the mistakes before the submission of the main coursework.

The individual research plan is a main component of the assessment. It is designed to test the students’ ability to plan the research, choose appropriate research methods, design experiments, and discuss the necessary tasks and project timeline. Additionally, the presentation format will allow us to assess the students’ ability to effectively communicate.

Reading Lists