Applications Mini Project


In order to be a confident and effective laboratory scientist it is necessary to understand all processes involved in experimental design/assay development and testing. This module is designed to equip students with the necessary basic practical/analytical skills and theoretical knowledge to be reliable and independent laboratory workers.


The aim of this practical based module is to give the student an understanding and experience of the complexity of independent experimental design/assay development in keeping with Quality by Design theory and testing and data analysis from first principles.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Define a testable hypothesis/research question.

2.  Design, execute and optimise an experimental plan (to include assay/equipment, controls, replicates, statistical tests/theory/COSHH/H&S).

3.  Apply knowledge of statistical analysis to the evaluation of data and the design of experimental protocols.

4.  Demonstrate an understanding of the theory/principles behind the practical techniques.

5.   Demonstrate knowledge of the underlying biology.

Indicative Content

1 Experimental design & statistics/data analysis

Determining objectives and specifying hypothesis; factors, levels, blocking and randomisation; use of appropriate statistical tests, using the statistical package SPSS

2 Health & Safety

Health & Safety in the laboratory, COSHH regulations as applied to the laboratory.

3 Mini investigation

Carry out a mini project in which a variety of experimental methods are applied and critically evaluated (the exact nature of the techniques used will depend on the nature of the project and will vary).

4 Information literacy

Plan and conduct literature search, making use of a wide range of resources, including full-text and abstracting databases as well as reference management software.

5 Principles of experimental techniques

Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of experimental techniques used in the execution of the mini-project including specific strengths and limitations.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The aim of this module is to develop expertise in experimental techniques, methodologies and effective collaboration (by completion of a practical mini investigation); to develop competency in statistical methods (by completion of final report) and literature searches.Each Laboratory session will have an associated tutorials session with each team getting focused feedback on the work carried out and feed-forward to the next laboratory session. This will equate to approx 3hr per group over the course of the module.A final support session on statistics will be available to each group

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 1
Tutorial/Seminar 16
Supervised Practical Activity 21
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 64
Independent 98

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.