Research Methods for Biology, Ecology and Zoology (C1021)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

There are certain skills and methods that are essential for being a biologist, ecologist or zoologist. Accurate observation and identification of organisms, and curiosity about them, provides the fuel for scientific discovery.

The use of statistics allows us to test our hypotheses, form a quantitative understanding of experimental and observational data, and draw conclusions based on the information we can extract from them.

Writing and presentation skills are then essential to present our findings in a clear and coherent form so that scientists, policy makers, end-users and the general public can understand them.

This module will help you develop these skills. It will consist of three components:

  • an Introduction to Statistics and the use of statistical software to analyse biological and ecological data
  • the development of your ability to research and synthesise the primary scientific literature, and communicate your findings
  • a series of exercises to develop your observation and identification skills, and scientific curiosity.


53%: Lecture
47%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Essay, Problem Set, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 44 hours of contact time and 106 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.