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PSC3010 : Research in Physiological Sciences

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andreas Werner
  • Demonstrator: Dr Michael Gray, Dr Matthew Wilcox, Dr Peter Chater
  • Lecturer: Dr Christopher Stewart, Dr Louise Reynard
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The overall module aim is to introduce the participants to the various knowledge and skills relevant to a career in physiological research. This includes an introduction to career planning and a visit to biomedical sciences research labs at Newcastle Medical School. The students will learn how to communicate science using different media (research articles/oral talks/poster presentation). Moreover, considerations will be given to how research is evaluated and funded. More specifically the module aims to;

•       provide an introduction to the conduct of research in physiological sciences.
•       introduce students to the issues of how scientific research is funded and how research careers are structured.
•       allow students an insight into the process of publication including peer review and publication metrics.
•       provide an understanding of the conduct of research with respect to appropriate design, methodologies and technological developments.
•       allow students to further develop skills in critical review of scientific literature.
•       allow students to further develop skills in dissemination of research findings using a variety of media.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module provides an introduction to research in physiological sciences and considers:

•       Examples of how research careers are structured in an academic environment
•       The conduct of research with respect to appropriate design, methodologies and technological developments.
•       The dissemination of research findings using a variety of media such as print, talks or poster presentations
•       Tools to develop skills in critically reviewing scientific literature
•       Various ways of how physiological research is funded

This module will provide a broad overview of physiological research in an academic setting including an introduction to postgraduate study options. The theme will be explored with projects focusing on methods in physiological research and in depth discussion of a selected research topic. The students will use these skills to produce an oral presentation and a scientific poster.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00PIP 2 lectures (joint with other research modules (PED3013, BGM3046, BMS3007).
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00PIP - Oral presentation and mini conference presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00Tutorials - Synchronous online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching13:003:00PIP - Visit to the Labs
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00PIP Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study184:0084:00Writing up lecture notes, revision and general reading.
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
BGM3046Research in Biochemistry & Genetics
BMS3007Research in Biomedical Sciences
PED3013Research in Pharmacological Sciences
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials convey the core knowledge.

Seminars provide opportunity for formative discussion and aid the development of critical key skills and problem solving.

Individual and group study encourages the use of the scientific literature at a deeper level than that presented in lectures.

The tutorials provide further opportunities for discussion and debate as well as practical experience in accessing scientific information through computer-based approaches and lab visits.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation101M40Presentation duration 10 mins - PIP
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster1M60Critical discussion of selected research topic & creative extrapolation of jointly researched material. Online submission A1 poster
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The two assessments test a range of knowledge and skills related to the taught material and also covering the guided and individually researched topics. Generic skills that are essential for a career in physiological research are also tested. The oral presentation requires concise and clear explanation of a chosen physiological research method. Presentation skills are essential for a scientist in the current academic world. The poster presentation assesses critical reading and investigation and gives the student the opportunity to demonstrate oral communication skills. The presentation is assessed by several academics and mimics a conference set-up. All the assessments are informed by real-life scenarios in science. The assessments are all finished before Christmas to avoid interference with the 3rd year research project.

Reading Lists