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 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.


61%: Lecture (Lecture, Online lecture)
39%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Problem set, Test)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 28 hours of contact time and about 122 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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: