Current Directions in Life Sciences 1X (Online) BIOL1018

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course highlights current research priorities within Life and Medical Sciences, as identified by recent public funding calls. The course is designed to support the development of key graduate attributes in an online environment within a scientific context. The course is delivered and assessed in an entirely online format via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and Microsoft Teams.


This course is delivered entirely online via the VLE.

The course will include approximately 2 to 3 hours of recorded lecture content per week, approximately 2 to 3 hours of directed learning activities per week and 1 hour of compulsory online webinar discussions each fortnight.

The directed learning activities for each scientific theme in the course will be available and must be completed within a specific 2-week block.

There will also be a scheduled 'reading week'. 

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses

BIOL1012 Current Directions in Life Sciences 1Y (Online)


BIOL1001 Biology 1A


The assessment will be dispersed throughout the course and comprises 2 written assessments, a group project and 2 Moodle-based assessment types:

■ 1x Short answer question (10%)

■ 1x Essay question (25%)

■ 2x Moodle quizzes (10% each = 20%)

■ Peer-reviewed assessments (15%)

■ 1x Group project poster (15%) with individual reflective exercise (10%)

■ 1x Problem solving exercise (5%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Peer-reviewed assessments (15%) and the Group project poster (15%) are not available for reassessment.

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to enable students to:

1. develop an understanding of current priorities in Life Science research;

2. develop research-led enquiry skills;

3. raise awareness of ethical issues in the chosen topics;

4. develop critical thinking skills as well as becoming resourceful, responsible and reflective learners.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

■ Discuss current priorities in Life Science research;

■ Describe and explain complex ideas in Life Sciences;

■ Identify and evaluate scientific publications;

■ Evaluate ethical considerations on current scientific topics. 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.