Dissertation in Biological Sciences
Dissertation in Biological Sciences 2023-24
School Of Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 1 & 2
All dissertations will allow students to gain personal experience of the approach, practice, evaluation and presentation of scientific research. Students will design their own investigations with guidance from a supervisor, and then frame and test hypotheses and practise application of appropriate scientific techniques, though individual contexts, methods and outcomes will vary.
-threshold -D: Dissertation is no more than satisfactory in most areas and weak in some. The student was heavily dependent on the supervisor, and showed little evidence of intellectual engagement. Narrow range of literature and/or data employed, with little awareness of the limitations of the study. Methodology is barely adequate and flawed in some areas. Little awareness of relevant issues. Cursory attempt at self-reflection, with little awareness of own development needs. Presentation is poor, and some errors/inaccuracies may be serious.
-good -B: Dissertation is good in most areas and strong in some. Student often worked independently, with occasional input from their supervisor. Dissertation contains some good examples of critical analysis, but limited originality and creativity in use of ideas, concepts and theory. Some awareness of the limitations of research, but the understanding of the reasons for, and implications of this are variable. Some weaknesses in methodology, but good attempt at the research process. Evidence of insight and an understanding of the subject. Has addressed most or all aspects of the assignment. Reasonable attempt at personal reflection and identification of own development needs. Good presentation which is clear and mostly logical, with errors which are mostly minor, though some may be more substantive.
-excellent -A*: Dissertation is exemplary in most areas, and demonstrates independence, originality and creativity in use of ideas, concepts and theory. Sophisticated methodology demonstrating exceptional skill and sensitivity of approach. Highly effective and sustained arguments demonstrating an impressive understanding of the topic and associated issues. Advanced ability to reflect on and influence own personal development. Presentation is clear, logical, imaginative, creative and original. Almost flawless.A+: Dissertation is very strong in most areas, and exemplary in some. An independent student, showing a very high standard of critical analysis with originality and creativity. Ideas, concepts and theory employed to very good effect. Sound methodology demonstrating excellent level of skill and sensitivity of approach. Effective and sustained arguments demonstrating a high level of understanding of the topic and associated issues. Demonstrates strong ability to reflect on and influence own personal development. Presentation is of a very high standard: clear and logical with few errors. A: Dissertation is very strong in most areas. Student worked independently, and showed a high standard of critical analysis with some originality and/or creativity. Ideas, concepts and theory used to good effect. Sound methodology demonstrating very high level of skill and sensitivity of approach. Coherent and articulate arguments demonstrating a clear understanding of the topic and associated issues. Demonstrates good ability to reflect on and influence own personal development. Presentation of a high standard: clear and logical with only a few minor errors. A-: Dissertation is strong in most areas. The student was largely independent, demonstrating a very good standard of critical analysis with some originality and/or creativity. Ideas, concepts and theory used to good effect. Sound methodology demonstrating high level of skill and sensitivity of approach. Coherent and articulate arguments demonstrating a clear understanding of the topic and has addressed most of the associated issues. Shows ability to reflect upon and influence own personal development. Presentation of a high standard: clear and logical with only minor errors.
-another level-C: Dissertation is good in some areas but only satisfactory in others. The student was dependent on their supervisor throughout the dissertation. Conscientious and focussed on subject matter, the dissertation tends towards a descriptive, rather than a critical, analytical approach. Awareness of the limitations of the dissertation are demonstrated at a basic level. Methodology is basically sound, but underdeveloped in some areas, with limited breadth and/or depth. Some attempt at personal reflection, with limited ability to identify own requirements for development. Satisfactory presentation which is mostly clear, with some evidence of logical progression and some minor inaccuracies.
- Analyse, synthesise and assimilate diverse information (from a variety of sources) in a critical manner, using numerical and IT skills where appropriate.
- Apply knowledge and understanding of the biosciences to address familiar and unfamiliar problems.
- Clearly communicate the results of their study both confidently and effectively, orally and in writing by giving a conference-style talk to staff and peers, and producing a manuscript in the style of a scientific paper for publication in a specified journal (e.g. Bioscience Horizons, Plos One, OPEN BIOLOGY).
- Construct reasoned arguments to support a position; demonstrate an appreciation of the validity of different points of view.
- Demonstrate qualities such as time management, problem solving, independence and teamwork, and take responsibility for self-managed learning and personal development.
- Formulate a hypothesis on a defined topic in the biosciences, plan and execute research or development work, evaluate the outcomes and draw valid conclusions.