Advanced Biological Sciences MSc

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: September 2020
  • Entry requirements: You will typically require a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant Biological Sciences subject.
Advanced Biological Sciences msc

Module details

The MSc programme runs for a whole year starting in September, and is organized as two taught semesters followed by a major individual research project undertaken over the summer. The programme comprises of a set of core modules as well as additional modules chosen to complement your pathway and research.  The pathways available and associated module choices are based on the research strengths of the department.

The general structure of the course is as follows:

Compulsory modules

Professional, Employability and Research Skills for Advanced Biological Sciences (LIFE710)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To develop and acquire a range of personal and interpersonal skills relating to effective self-management and working relationships with others;

To develop and acquire an enhanced ability to communicate effectively in academic and professional settings;

To develop and acquire skills and knowledge required for enhanced employability;

To develop and acquire a range of generic skills that will help with research planning and delivery to a professional standard.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) At the end of this module, students will be able to: 1. Demonstrate improved self-awareness and personal effectiveness; 2. Work effectively as a team member to achieve a scientific goal; 3. Communicate effectively, using in a variety of contexts to scientific and non-scientific audiences; 4. Access and critically evaluate appropriate bibliographic resources and databases; 5. Evaluate relevant health and safety issues and demonstrate responsible working practices; 6. Demonstrate improved awareness of career opportunities and employability prospects. Students will also develop independent learning and self-evaluation skills

(S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

(S2) Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

(S3) Communication and collaboration online participating in digital networks for learning and research

(S4) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

Research Methods and Applications in Biological Sciences (LIFE731)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module is designed to:

Provide students with an understanding of the processes required for the successful planning and delivery of research projects;

Introduce students to the latest, cutting edge technologies in their research field of interest;

Develop in students the transferrable communication skills that will enable them to disseminate their findings to both scientific and general audiences.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Develop hypotheses and design a series of experiments that would allow these hypotheses to be tested

(LO2) Critically review the legal and moral frameworks within which scientific research must be conducted, in particular research ethics and current legislation;

(LO3) Effectively communicate research findings using writing styles for different audiences, including the scientific and lay communities, and to understand the need to promote the public understanding of science;

(LO4) Understand why and when it is appropriate for biologists to engage with mathematicians, computer scientists and physical scientists to obtain more quantitative, holistic or systems-based approaches to studying biological processes;

(LO5) Critically review the latest scientific discoveries in their research field, and understand the principles underpinning cutting edge technologies that may be applied to their area of scientific investigation;

(LO6) Synthesise information, critically review evidence to support conclusions, and define complex problems by applying appropriate knowledge and skills.

Advanced Statistics for Biological Research (LIFE707)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
Aims

To enable students to analyse biological data by:

Choice of appropriate statistical approaches to test hypotheses;

Critical understanding of the use of a range of advanced statistical tests for appropriate analysis and  model fitting of a range of biological datasets;

Using the software package, R;

Synthesizing information, summarising statistical findings, and using hypothesis testing to critically review evidence from experimental data to support conclusions.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Illustrate and explain the methods of hypothesis testing

(LO2) Critically evaluate experimental design(s) used in data collection and then apply the appropriate statistical test(s).

(LO3) Design data collection methods appropriate to rigorous data analysis

(LO4) Synthesise information from data analysis, test statistical hypotheses and critically review evidence to support conclusions.

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Numeracy

(S3) IT skills

(S4) Communication skills

(S5) Organisational skills

(S6) Lifelong learning skills

Statistics for Biological Research (LIFE763)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting30:70
Aims

To introduce and advance knowledge of a range of statistical tests that are commonly used in the Biosciences;

To give experience in the implementation of these tests using statistical and programming software;

To enable students to learn how to interpret and analyse the output of these tests.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To develop an understanding of  statistical hypothesis testing;

(LO2) To apply a range of relevant statistical tests to complex datasets to draw statistical conclusions;

(LO3) To critically assess the appropriateness of a statistical test;

(LO4) To intepret and report data collected in biological research.

(LO5) To develop programming skills relevant for statistical analysis.

(S1) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (eg measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae);

(S2) Problem solving, critical thinking, creativity; analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

Introduction to Research (LIFE702)
LevelM
Credit level30
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is to give students the individual experience in the planning, design and execution of a research project in their chosen pathway.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate a systematic knowledge and critical understanding of the essential concepts in their chosen field of study;

(LO2) Demonstrate competency in a range of skills necessary to work in a research laboratory and to complete a successful research project;

(LO3) Develop and present a plan for a research project in the form of a grant proposal, which critically appraises the background of the project, evaluates the methodologies, formulates hypotheses, and objectives, and resources required;

(LO4) Write a review article that is critically informed by the scientific literature.

(S1) Research management: developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary / secondary / diverse sources, collecting and using data, applying research methods, applying ethics;

(S2) Self-management: readiness to accept responsibility (that is, leadership), flexibility, resilience, self-starting, initiative, integrity, willingness to take risks, appropriate assertiveness, time management, readiness to improve own performance based on feedback / reflective learning.

MSc Research Project (LIFE703)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterSummer (June-September)
Exam:Coursework weighting0:0
Aims

To give students the opportunity to work in a guided but independent fashion on an area of research related to the chosen pathway, making use of the knowledge and skills acquired elsewhere in the programme.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Plan a piece of original scientific research;

(LO2) Design and perform a coherent set of investigations to test a hypothesis;

(LO3) Present work in the form of an oral presentation to a scientific audience and at an oral examination;

(LO4) Write final report in the form of a manuscript that would be suitable for submission as a scientific publication.

(S1) Research management: developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary / secondary / diverse sources, collecting and using data, applying research methods, applying ethics.

(S2) Self-management: readiness to accept responsibility (that is, leadership), flexibility, resilience, self-starting, initiative, integrity, willingness to take risks, appropriate assertiveness, time management, readiness to improve own performance based on feedback / reflective learning;

(S3) Team (group) working: respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others.


Further taught modules of your choice (45 credits)

You will gain the remaining 45 credits of your MSc by choosing from specialist modules that will support your pathway and research project. As well as modules offered within the school, some of the more cross-disciplinary pathways have available specialist modules from other departments in the University. These advanced modules are delivered by experts and reflect the research strengths at Liverpool.