Module MSE-4025:
Dissertation

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

60 Credits or 30 ECTS Credits

Semester 3

Organiser: Dr David Pryce

Overall aims and purpose

The dissertation module aims to provide a platform for students to apply and develop the knowledge, understanding and laboratory experimental applications experience they have developed in the taught modules, to experimentally investigate an important, current, research area of human medical molecular biology. The module is linked to MSE-4027, encompassing a substantial piece of hypothesis driven laboratory research and allows students to further develop and enhance their laboratory work practices, research self-initiative and professional time management skills, to generate, collate, analyse and interpret data/results, and to prepare research findings, to specific oral and written presentation formats; all essential skills for future careers in PhD level research and industry.

Course content

The topics delivered in this module will be dependent on the specific research project area chosen and specific research hypothesis the student undertakes. All projects will provide extensive opportunity to utilise, develop and refine a wide range of molecular laboratory protocols and techniques.

A range of research project areas are available. Projects are supervised by research active Academic Staff from the School of Medical Sciences and aligned to their research areas

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Pass (C- to C+) (range 50-59%)

Primary criteria

A threshold student demonstrates knowledge of key areas & principles, and understands the main elements of the subject area, although gaps and weaknesses in the argument are evident. No evidence of background study and wider reading. Answer focussed on question but also with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure & argument. Answers have several factual/computational errors. No original interpretation. No links between topics are described. Limited problem solving skills. Some weaknesses in presentation accuracy & delivery.

Secondary Criteria

C+ Good within the class

  • Exceeds expectations for some primary criteria
  • Strong factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding
  • Ideas/arguments are limited but are well presented

C Mid-level

  • Matches all primary criteria
  • Moderate factual knowledge with some weaknesses in understanding
  • Ideas/arguments are limited presented with weaknesses in logic/presentation

C- Meets requirements of class

  • Matches most but not all primary criteria
  • Moderate factual knowledge with several weaknesses in understanding
  • Ideas/arguments are limited presented with weaknesses in logic/presentation

excellent

Distinction (A- to A**) (range 70-100%)

Primary criteria

Excellent students demonstrate comprehensive knowledge & detailed understanding of the subject area. Clear evidence of extensive background study & original thinking. Highly focussed answers and well structured. Arguments are logically presented and defended with evidence and examples. No factual/computational errors. Original interpretation of the information with clear evidence of wider reading. New links between topics are developed and new approaches to a problem are presented. Excellent presentation skills with very accurate communication.

Secondary Criteria

A* Outstanding

  • Exceeds expectations for most primary criteria
  • Complete command of subject and other relevant areas
  • Ideas/arguments are highly original

A+ Excellent

  • Exceeds expectations for some primary criteria
  • Complete command of subject
  • Ideas/arguments are highly original

A Good

  • Meets all primary criteria
  • Command of subject but with minor gaps in knowledge areas
  • Ideas/arguments are mostly original

A- Meets requirements of Class

  • Meets most but not all primary criteria
  • Complete command of subject but with some gaps in knowledge
  • Ideas/arguments are mostly original

good

Merit (B- to B+) (range 60-69%)

Primary criteria

Good students demonstrate strong knowledge & understanding of most but not all of the subject area. Limited evidence of background study. The answer is focussed with good structure. Arguments are presented coherently, mostly free of factual/computational errors. Some limited original interpretation. Well know links between topics are described. Problems are addressed by existing methods/approaches. Good presentation with accurate communication

Secondary Criteria

B+ Good

  • Exceeds expectations for most primary criteria
  • Command of subject but with gaps in knowledge
  • Some ideas/arguments original

B Mid-level

  • Meets all primary criteria
  • Strong factual knowledge and understanding
  • Ideas/arguments are well presented by few are original

B- Meets requirements of class

  • Meets most but not all primary criteria
  • Strong factual knowledge with minor weaknesses in understanding
  • Most but not all ideas/arguments are well presented and few are original

Learning outcomes

  1. Able to efficiently and accurately collate and present research findings to specific scientific formats

  2. Able to efficiently execute, and/or modify/develop scientific methodologies

  3. Able to generate/extract data from a variety of sources to address a specific research aim

  4. Able to choose and employ relevant methods of data analysis to address a specific research hypothesis

  5. Able to perform in-depth analysis of qualitative and/or quantitative data

  6. Able to use initiative, independently work and employ professional time management skills

  7. Able to critically discuss qualitative and/or quantitative data and draw appropriate conclusions

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO Laboratory work and notebook

Each research project will involve approximately 200hrs of experimental laboratory work and a number of regular spaced supervisory meetings. In each meeting students will present and discuss experimental data generated and progress towards answering their specific research hypothesis.

0
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION Research Poster
  • The Poster and presentation should be as concise as possible, written in a style accessible to a broad scientific readership
  • It should present a brief background introduction to the experimental hypothesis that was addressed, a set of fully processed results and findings, with no more than seven figures and/or tables, and a bullet point summary of key findings.
  • It is estimated the notional effort involved in preparation for and undertaking of the Poster presentation assessment should be approximately 60 hours.
  • Each poster/presenter assessment will take approximately 20 minutes, including time for questions
40
REPORT Research Paper
  • The Research Paper should be formatted as per a submission to the Journal Cell
  • The paper as concise as possible and written in a style that is accessible to the broad readership.
  • The abstract should be no more than 150 words
  • The total word count must be 4000 - to - 5,000 words (maximum) in length (including bibliography/references)
  • A maximum of seven figures and/or tables can be included and up to 50 references
  • NOTE: At the discretion of the project supervisor, additional information may be included as Supplemental Information. Supplemental Information will not be included in the summative assessment
60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Self-directed: background study, Lab/research portfolio Book recording, data processing and analysis and assessment preparation

397
One-to-one supervision

Student presentation/supervisory meetings.

Frequency: June – September. Minimum of 3hrs.

  • Supervisory meetings frequency and duration should be noted in student MyBangor record
  • At a supervisor discretion, one-to-one supervisor input can be increased in frequency and duration.
  • Meetings should include presentation of lab book/research portfolio, discussion of data analysis and findings and status of project engagement and progress.
3
Individual Project

experimental work/and or data mining. Frequency: maximum of 25hrs/week

200

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

General subject specific skills include.

  • Intellectual and work engagement abilities sufficient for progression in independent research enquiry, critical reasoning and thinking and decision making
  • In depth knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles of the scientific method; with developed interpersonal and group work practices
  • Understanding and acceptance of professional, ethical and legal responsibilities in application of research experimental science
  • Practical application of skills in implementation and investigation of a specific research project hypothesis

Resources

Resource implications for students

All resources needed to complete this module are provided. Computers can be accessed in multiple locations across the university. All teaching materials will be available on Blackboard. Completed assignments will be uploaded onto Turnitin through Blackboard. A limited number of the recommended textbooks can be found within the library.

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/mse-4025.html

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

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Co-requisites:

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