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The entire research project for the Master of Science (BioSciences) consists of 125 points with assessments distributed over 4 semesters for full-time, and 5 semesters for part-time.
This subject is part of a sequence taken in successive semesters that together constitute the 125-point research project offered through the MSc Bioscience.
The Research Project involves laboratory or field-based experimental research in an area of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Genomics and Developmental Biology, and Plant Biology. The research projects cover a broad range of research from molecular to population and evolutionary biology in micro-organisms, insects, plants and animals.
The project will be based in the laboratory of an academic staff member in the School of BioSciences or an approved external supervisor, depending on the particular research project. The research project aims to develop a range of experimental and technical skills, a capacity to set goals and to design and plan experiments.
Apart from the help and guidance from their supervisor(s) each student also has a committee, which provides additional help and expertise. This committee is responsible for assessment of the research project subject. The subject also provides students with skills and knowledge for understanding original research and enhanced written and oral communication skills.
For full-time students, the project will be taken over four consecutive semesters and will begin on the Monday of the first semester (students can start either semester 1 or semester 2 for mid-year intake) and continue for up to 88 weeks until the end of the fourth semester, minus recreation leave of between 4 and 8 weeks (22 weeks per semester over the four semesters).
For how long and at what time within the enrolment the actual period of leave is to be taken needs to be negotiated with the student’s supervisor.
For part-time students, the project will be taken over five consecutive semesters. This will typically be from Semester 3 to Semester 7 of a 48 month MSc course.
Students will first enrol in BioSciences Research Project Part 1 in their first Research semester, and then progress through to Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 (and, for part-time students, Part 5). Students may only progress through BioScience Research Project subjects upon successful completion of the earlier project component.
The subject involves experimental research under the direction of a supervisor.
Intended learning outcomes
Objectives of this subject are for students to:
- understand the way in which experiments are designed, communicated and interpreted;
- extend their abilities in oral and written scientific communication;
- gain the ability to read and assimilate specific research papers and to understand how the research reported relates to the broad field of biological sciences;
- acquire experience in planning and executing laboratory or field-based experimental research;
- develop effective skills in data collection and analysis, and postulating testable hypotheses based on this data.
This subject should provide students with the opportunity to develop the following generic skills:
- the ability to evaluate scientific literature;
- the ability to use conceptual models to assess experimental data;
- the ability to conduct research;
- the capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in written and oral presentations;
- the capacity for high level written report presentation skills;
- the capacity for oral communication and presentation skills;
- time management and self-management skills.
Last updated: 29 July 2020