Module ONS-4004:
Advanced Research Skills

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Sarah Zylinski

Overall aims and purpose

Scientists are required to consider a range of issues including Health and Safety, ethics and data analysis when planning experiments and surveys. This module will provide students with knowledge of relevant Health and Safety and Environmental legislation, and case studies will be used to demonstrate techniques of hazard assessment and risk control. Students will learn about the principals of experimental design and some widely applicable techniques of data analysis. This fundamental knowledge will be complemented by consideration of more specialised analytical techniques relevant to particular fields of research.

Course content

The course will cover the duties of employees and employers under relevant Health and Safety and environmental legislation and consider strategies of waste reduction and management. Training will be given in identifying a wide range of biological, chemical and physical hazards and hierarchical strategies of risk control. Students will consider a number of relevant case studies to enhance their ability to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments. Work related upper limb disorders, associated with improper use of DSE , will be described and training given in how to carry out DSE assessments. All students will follow a core program of lectures that will provide training in techniques of experimental design and analysis that are applicable to a wide variety of situations. In addition, students will have the option to consider specialised techniques of data analysis relevant to their chosen field of study; for example the use of R for graphing and statistical analysis. Students will undertake online tests, participate in poster sessions, and analyse an advanced data set and present a written scientific paper to report the review of literature, development of hypotheses, analysis of results and conclusions drawn.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Perform an adequate DSE assessment, be able to identify the most obvious hazards associated with scientific experiments and suggest some control measures. Be aware of relevant H&S and environmental legislation. Sound working knowledge of data handling and analysis techniques with the ability to apply the techniques to a range of straightforward situations. Superficial consideration of experimental design and logistics when undertaking scientific surveys, resulting in incomplete fulfilment of the brief. Sound but fairly limited data analysis, presentation and discussion of results.

good

Understand risks associated with the use of a poorly set up DSE workstation and perform an adequate DSE assessment. Be able to identify most of the major hazards associated with scientific experiments and suggest some control measures. Have a basic knowledge of relevant H&S and environmental legislation. In depth knowledge of data handling and analysis techniques with sufficient understanding to apply appropriate techniques to a wide range of datasets. Careful consideration of experimental design and logistics when undertaking scientific surveys of sampling, resulting in fulfilment of the majority of the brief. All data analysed and presented in a logical and clear manner with adequate discussion of results in relation to other relevant published literature.

excellent

Understand risks associated with the use of a poorly set up DSE workstation and perform an adequate DSE assessment. Be able to identify virtually all of the major hazards associated with scientific experiments and apply a hierarchical approach to risk control. Have a sound working knowledge of relevant H&S and environmental legislation. Thorough knowledge of data handling and analysis techniques with sufficient understanding to apply the most appropriate techniques to a wide range of complex datasets. Thorough consideration of experimental design and logistics when undertaking scientific surveys, resulting in complete fulfilment of the brief. All data analysed using the most appropriate techniques and presented in a concise and easy-to-follow manner with excellent and imaginative discussion of results in relation to other relevant published literature.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand their duties under relevant Health and Safety and environmental legislation

  2. Assess the suitability of DSE workstations

  3. Prepare suitable and sufficient risk assessments

  4. Understand a variety of univariate and multivariate statistical tests and in what circumstances they could be appropriately used.

  5. Understand the link between hypotheses and appropriate experimental design and statistical approach.

  6. Choose, apply and interpret appropriate techniques for analysing a variety of data sets

  7. Effectively communicate the results of scientific surveys

  8. To communicate verbally details about a given statistical test/approach, including the assumptions of the data, examples of scenarios where it may be applicable to use such a test, and comparisons with other similar experimental approaches.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
CLASS TEST Statistics Test

Examine understanding of the different statistical tests taught and their applicability in different experimental approaches.

20
GROUP PRESENTATION Experimental design poster & presentation

Posters to be submitted to Turnitin by 14:00 on 11th November for presentation on 12th November. Examine the link between proposed hypotheses, experimental approach and data analysis. To work effectively in a group. To communicate concepts and approaches through a poster.

30
COURSEWORK Data analysis and presenting results

Gain experience in data analysis techniques and how to present results in a scientific paper format. Implementing R skills gained during computer sessions. Two short submission, with intermediate deadline for first submission to be given during teaching session in order to receive feedback prior to second submission.

50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

6 x 1 hour lectures and case studies sessions

6
Practical classes and workshops

5 x full day statistics workshops

30
Workshop

2 x 4 hour Experimental design and data consideration workshops

8
Private study 148
Workshop

1 x 8 hour H&S workshops

8

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • 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

  • Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation

Resources

Resource implications for students

None

Reading list

Field, A. 2009. Discovering Statistics using SPSS, 3rd edition. Sage Publications. Hard copies and ebook available from the library.

Dytham, C. 2011. Choosing and Using Statistics; A Biologist's Guide, 3rd edition. John Wiley and Sons. Hard copies and ebook available from the library.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: