Academic Skills in Life Sciences (C7161)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

Students will learn about the range of research done in the School of Life Sciences, how to read and evaluate the primary research literature, how to write scientific essays, referencing scientific misconduct and also some of the quantitative skills needed in life sciences. This module is taught by lectures, workshops and tutorials, which are normally taken with the Academic advisor. A class will be run on careers.

Module learning outcomes

  • To understand and interpret a primary research paper in Life Sciences, especially the main research objectives, outcomes and how the conclusions are justified by the evidence.
  • To demonstrate the ability to understand and explain quantitative data especially the graphical presentation, and do basic calculations relevant to life sciences, including an understanding of units.
  • To develop communication skills and explain scientific concepts orally and in writing, using suitable organisation and use of graphics.
  • To search databases and online resources for information, understand plagiarism and use a conventional referencing system to build a bibliography.


44%: Lecture
16%: One-to-one (Tutorial)
40%: Seminar (Class, Seminar)


100%: Coursework (Essay, Presentation, Test)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 25 hours of contact time and about 125 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: