Research Project in Life Sciences

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
17 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C700 Biochemistry,
BSC C701 Biochemistry (Including Placement Year),
BSC C703 Biochemistry (Including Year Abroad),
BSC CR00 Biochemistry (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C100 Biological Sciences,
BSC C101 Biological Sciences (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C102 Biological Sciences (Including Placement Year),
BSC CD00 Biological Sciences (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C520 Ecology and Environmental Biology,
BSC C521 Ecology and Environmental Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C522 Ecology and Environmental Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C523 Ecology and Environmental Biology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C400 Genetics,
BSC C402 Genetics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C403 Genetics (Including Placement Year),
BSC CK00 Genetics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C161 Marine Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C164 Marine Biology,
BSC CC60 Marine Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC CC64 Marine Biology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C110 Biotechnology,
BSC C111 Biotechnology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C112 Biotechnology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C113 Biotechnology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C200 Human Biology,
BSC C201 Human Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C202 Human Biology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C220 Human Biology (Including Foundation Year),
MSCIC098 Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Including Year Abroad),
MSCIC099 Biochemistry and Biotechnology (Including Placement Year),
MSCICZ99 Biochemistry and Biotechnology,
MSCIB097 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSCIBA97 Tropical Marine Biology (Including Placement Year),
MSCIBB97 Tropical Marine Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C555 Microbiology,
BSC C556 Microbiology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C557 Microbiology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C558 Microbiology (Including Placement Year),
MSCIC559 Microbiology and Biotechnology

Module description

This final year research project module is an opportunity for students to carry out an individual scientific investigation on a topic relating to their degree specialisation.

You will use the skills developed in the course to identify, with your supervisor, a suitable question and then design an experimental approach to obtain data addressing this question. Your analysis and presentation of these data in a suitable scientific paper format report forms the main assessed component of this module. The second major component involves researching, understanding and writing critically about the scientific literature relating to your project work.

Module aims

The aim of this module is:

  • To carry out an individual scientific investigation on a topic relating to your degree specialisation.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Update CV, write a job application cover letter, and perform in a mock interview scenario.

  2. Develop a project plan, including the experimental, analytical and statistical methods to be used.

  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the health and safety and ethical issues related to scientific research and undertake appropriate risk- and required ethics-assessments.

  4. Maintain an accurate and up to date record of project work and data collection.

  5. Demonstrate responsibility for personal time management and for any necessary amendments to the project plan and reflect on progress and outcome of the project.

  6. Use a search engine (e.g. Web of Knowledge) to research the scientific literature relating to their research project area and present this information as an extended introduction to their project report.

  7. Carry out a research project and obtain sufficient data of good quality using appropriate experimental, analytical and statistical methods.

  8. Analyse and interpret scientific data.

  9. Communicate the outcomes of research effectively in a written report in scientific paper format.

  10. Describe and critically evaluate data from research articles.

  11. Refer appropriately to published work and be competent in the use of bibliographic software (e.g. EndNote).

  12. Communicate effectively by an oral presentation of project work.

  13. Address scientific questions on the background, methods, data and future direction from expert assessors.

  14. Specific employability and transferrable skills are highly dependent on the nature of the chosen project.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • Four research project seminars.
  • Contact with project supervisor.
  • Presentation opportunity with formative feedback provided.

Students will work independently with further guidance and assistance as and when required.


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

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Practical Skills & Organisation (Continually Assessed)    10% 
Coursework   Project Plan  03/11/2023  5% 
Coursework   Employability Skills   24/11/2023  5% 
Coursework   Project Report SPF  28/03/2024  60% 
Coursework   Project Oral Presentation  26/04/2024  20% 

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
Prof Alex Dumbrell, email:
All academic staff supervising BS832 Research Projects as allocated by the School
School Undergraduate Office, email: bsugoffice (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)


Travel costs for approved work placements and live projects for this module may be covered wholly or partly at the discretion of the department. Please check with your module supervisor for details.

External examiner

Dr Thomas Clarke
University of East Anglia
Senior lecturer/associate professor
Prof Edgar Turner
University of Cambridge
Professor of Insect Ecology
Available via Moodle
Of 93 hours, 29 (31.2%) hours available to students:
5 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
59 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

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