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BGM3046 : Research in Biochemistry & Genetics

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jeremy Lakey
  • Lecturer: Professor David Lydall, Professor Jeff Errington, Professor Deborah Henderson
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1. To provide the opportunity to improve numerical skills required for scientific research in Biochemistry and Genetics
2. To further develop abilities in collating, interpreting, critically analyzing and presenting scientific data.
3. To provide the opportunity to develop skills in data analysis and problem solving.
4. To test, encourage, and reward the ability to critically assess and present data in a publishable format
5. To provide students with team working opportunities

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Lecture delivered material from active researchers on the wider research environment. Career options in Research. How research is done in academia, industry etc.

2.Numeracy skills for Biochemists and Geneticists. Tested by in course Pass/Fail Online Assessment

3.Data Analysis skills

4.Individual preparation of a results section suitable for inclusion in scientific paper from a data set provided. To include, choosing presentation mode, which data to include etc . Advice sessions provided. Assessed

5.Group work on producing a Powerpoint poster file from the data set. Collaboration to create a single poster. Assessed.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Online test
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion641:0064:00Creation of outline research paper
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Poster Session
Guided Independent StudyProject work120:0020:00Creation of research poster
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery23:006:00Progress review/help sessions towards creation of the outline research paper.
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MIC3043Research in Medical Microbiology and Immunology
PED3013Research in Pharmacological Sciences
PSC3010Research in Physiological Sciences
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. be able to perform simple calculations necessary for laboratory research.

The students will receive two lectures to prepare them for this work and work through a series of problem sheets to learn the required skills.

Two interactive skills sessions will also be provided. At the end, the student will work through a computer-based set of structured questions which will be assessed as pass/fail.

2. have acquired skills in manipulation of numerical data and have acquired skills in data analysis and interpretation

The students will receive a lectures to prepare them for this work. The data will be provided as part of the project package and they will be expected to take raw data and turn it into a figure which clearly displays the result, using statistical analysis of significance if needed. This may involve on line data analysis using, for example, sequence analysis software or the use of spreadsheets and graphing packages.

3. be able to perform the initial steps of turning scientific research results into a paper. Be able to critically review data individually or as part of a team.

Given a set of primary data create a simple research paper. Students will be prepared for this by lectures, and drop-in sessions will be scheduled at which students will be able to discuss their progress with staff and receive feedback/suggestions. A major output of this exercise will be that the students will be prepared for writing their project report in semester 2. The research paper will have strictly enforced word and figure limits so will require decision making in how to present data and what to leave out. Practical skills will be developed in using excel, graphing packages etc. Introduction and discussion sections will be very minimal, with students being encouraged to stick to key background and conclusions only.

In groups of 3-4 the students will prepare a PowerPoint poster to describe the above results by
merging the data from their projects. The groups will be announced after the project hand in.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1M70Research paper from data provided.The report will comprise 1000 words and four figures.
Poster1M30Group Poster. Prepare an A0 PowerPoint poster
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Computer assessmentMOnline Assessment. The EMI will consist of up to 30 short answer questions (online). Maximum 120 minutes. Pass/Fail at 80%.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Test 1 – In-course Test in October

This test, under examination conditions, will be sat in Semester 1, and will test core laboratory-based knowledge from Stages 1 and 2, with the emphasis on number manipulation skills. An important aim of this test is to encourage students to have sufficient basic knowledge and understanding of number manipulation skills in laboratory techniques, so as to be more able to undertake project work.

Project exercise

Given a set of primary data create a simple research paper. Aims of this are to prepare for writing the project report in the second semester. They must write a short note paper with strictly enforced word and figure limits so they’ll need to decide how to present the data and what to leave out. Practice skills in using excel, graphing packages etc. Introduction and discussion to be kept very minimal (bullet points).


Group work. Groups of 3-4 prepare a PowerPoint poster to describe the above results – peer marking 15% to include effort mark Academic staff marking 15%

Reading Lists