Research Project (MSci Biomedical Science)

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
15 January 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSCIB099 Biomedical Science,
MSCIBA99 Biomedical Science (Including Placement Year),
MSCIBB99 Biomedical Science (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Your Independent Research is the largest piece of work that you will complete in your final year and contributes 60 credits. You should find this to be both stimulating and of particular importance for your future career. The project will run for the duration of the academic year and will incorporate 80 hours of time within the laboratory, seminars, and meetings with your supervisor.

This module will provide you with the opportunity to identify a problem or topic for study in an area related to Biomedical Science, to construct a hypothesis and study design that will enable you to address it, to perform laboratory and/or computational experiments to generate data, analyse and present your results, and to draw appropriate conclusions from your observations. Your project will enable you to study a chosen topic in greater depth, further develop your skills in the analysis and interpretation of data, and will also incorporate sessions related to employability.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To enable students to conduct an independent scientific research project and gain experience in its planning.

  • To gain experience of identifying a research question or problem from the literature.

  • To gain experience of designing a study that will suitably address the chosen research question or problem.

  • To develop scientific writing skills by creating a manuscript to the right level. To enable students to develop skills related to the statistical analysis of data, including the use of bioinformatic tools where appropriate.

  • To enable students to develop skills in the effective communication of research findings through poster and oral presentations.

  • To enable students to develop skills in academic writing in relation to grant proposals and scientific papers.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate experimental methodologies and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the techniques applicable to their own area of research in order to formulate and design an independent research project.

  2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the issues within the discipline and the ability to write a grant proposal to request funding in support of a research project.

  3. Identify and apply the appropriate skills and procedures to analyse, interpret and critically evaluate scientific data.

  4. Demonstrate advanced verbal communication skills in order to clearly communicate research findings through a poster and research presentation.

  5. Demonstrate advanced scientific writing skills.

Module information

  1. Attendance of group meetings:

From the commencement of your project, you will attend weekly meetings with your supervisor and other students in which you will have the opportunity to learn and discuss the subject area, and to discuss the design of your research project. You may also have the opportunity to attend lab meetings with the supervisor’s other group members. 

  1. Journal club:

Within weekly group meetings, you will be expected to present and critically evaluate a research publication relevant to your project area. You will discuss the methodology and findings with your peers. 

  1. Attendance of School of Life Science Seminars:

Throughout the module you will attend the fortnightly School of Life Sciences seminar series. These seminars will broaden your scientific knowledge and creativity through exposure to new research topics, cutting-edge methods, project design, and presentation methods. You will be expected to write abstracts (250 words) based upon four of the seminars you have attended, upon which you will receive formative feedback to develop your scientific writing skills. 

  1. Attendance of employability event:

You will attend an employability event in which you will learn more about career development and opportunities from Biomedical Scientists working in the region. You will also have the opportunity to gain greater insight into the work performed within clinical laboratories from current practitioners, such as through attending virtual meetings with Biomedical Scientists and/or discussions with Band 4 Associate Practitioners currently studying on our apprenticeship degree programmes. 

  1. Grant proposal:

Once assigned to a supervisor, you will perform a literature review of a topic relevant to Biomedical Science and use this to inform the design of your independent research project that will enable you to address a question or problem you have identified. You will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas and the literature you have read with your supervisor. You will then prepare a 2,000-word grant proposal that explains the problem, how you will seek to address it, and why this is important to do. 

  1. Performance of independent research:

You will undertake 15 weeks of laboratory-based research to obtain high-quality data. You will be expected to spend approximately 1.5 days (10 hours) per week in the laboratory and in meetings with your supervisor at this time.

  1. Poster presentation:

You will present your work in progress to your peers through the design of a poster. You will be expected to provide a short talk (5-10 minutes) next to your poster and to answer questions on your work. 

  1. Project report:

You will write a 6,000-word report in scientific paper format to present the background to your project, the data you have obtained, and a critical evaluation of your findings in the context of the literature. It is essential that you are diligent in your reading, laboratory work, recording of your results, data analysis, and preparation of your report.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • Meetings as a group within the early stages of the project to learn about and discuss the wider context of your project.
  • Journal clubs to discuss literature and the latest findings relevant to your project area. 
  • One-on-one meetings with your supervisor to discuss the design of your project. 
  • Supervision in the laboratory with the learning and performance of new skills and techniques. 
  • Attendance of School of Life Sciences seminars to develop your knowledge of broader developments within biological sciences.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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