BMS2013 : Practical and Presentational Skills in Biomedical Sciences

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


•To enhance students’ practical skills in key techniques and data analysis.
•To develop an investigative approach and introduce students to experimental design in preparation for the final year project.
•To develop a deeper understanding of theoretical knowledge through related practical exercises.
•To develop practical report writing skills in preparation for the final year project.

Outline Of Syllabus

Practical lab classes will include:
•       Cell culture techniques
•       Epidemiological Investigation
•       Investigation of respiratory disease
•       PCR
•       Aseptic technique
•       Enzyme-linked and latex-agglutination immunoassay
•       Record keeping
•       Statistical analysis and presentation of data
•       Analytical sensitivity
•       Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity
•       Case study presentation

Theoretical supporting classes will include
•       Cell culture techniques
•       Oral presentation skills
•       Writing an IMRaD report
•       Analytical sensitivity and specificity
•       Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity
•       Receiver Operating Curves

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Practical 4 - Epidemiological investigation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical14:004:00Practical 1 – Method evaluation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical111:0011:00Practical 2 – case study investigation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical14:004:00Practical 3 – Cell culture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Each student is to give a 5 min presentation within a small group.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study701:0070:00Including preparation for practical classes, study of on-line supporting materials and assessment.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used to impart new information in a concise manner regarding method principles and applications that underpin the practical aspects of this module (LO1- 6). The practical lab classes are designed to develop practical skills in techniques commonly used in biomedical science laboratories (LO8-12), and through related assessment an ability to communicate their findings and understanding (LO13 and 14). Students will be able to relate the theoretical learning in BMS2011, BMS2012, BMS2013, BMS2014 and BMS2015 to the practical labs in this module (LO1-6) (i.e., immunology, virology, respiratory disease, mucosal infections).

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M20Use of current peer assessment of a 5 minute clinical case presentation
Practical/lab report2M15Worksheet covering cell culture
Practical/lab report2M15Worksheet covering epidemiological investigation
Practical/lab report2M50IMRaD style report on method evaluation, maximum 2,000 word count
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MFormative Timed Essay, under exam conditions but with in-class interactive marking and feedback following the essay.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Worksheets made up of questions about the data generated and method principles are used for the cell culture and epidemiological investigation practical labs to evaluate that a student has performed the relevant tasks and obtained satisfactory results to meet learning outcomes 1-3 and 7-10. The worksheets have worked well in the past and facilitate efficient marking.

Whilst the worksheets have their advantages, they usually only require numerical values or simple statement answers and do not provide the student with an opportunity to develop their writing skills necessary for the final year project report. An IMRaD style report (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) will provide applied practice. This report will provide the student with an opportunity to show that they understand the method principles and diagnostic rationale (LOs 4 - 6), approach to method evaluation, data acquisition and analysis (LOs 5, 10-12) and can prepare a succinct and meaningful written report (LO 13).

In keeping with the title of the module and to meet learning outcomes 3, 10 and 14 students are required to prepare and give a short case presentation on one of the 3 patients. Peer assessment is successfully used in the current version of the module and will be used here. Peer assessment provides a learning opportunity for students to critically analyse the components of a good oral presentation and use their observations and feedback to others to improve their own future presentations.

The timed essay provides a formative experience for the students to engage with the type of assessment followed by them receiving immediate feedback and access to the model answer so they can reflect on their content and ability to critically reflect on a subject. To practise writing ‘essay style’ answers to exam questions typical of future assessment. This will be used to reinforce and apply the knowledge outcomes.

Reading Lists