Advanced Studies in Biomedical Sciences BIOL5383

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course aims to support students through the process of critically analysing a scientific paper, developing a novel hypothesis or research question, and proposing an experiment to address a hypothesis or question arising from that paper. Students will choose a paper to review, and teaching sessions will involve student presentations and discussions within small groups, facilitated by staff.


This course is made up of tutorials that take place in semester 2.

Requirements of Entry



60%: Review article based on a journal article chosen by the student. 2000 words (ILO 1 and 2)

40%: Written research plan comprising a scientific question and experiment(s), based on the topic chosen in the review article. 1-2 pages, typically 1000 words (ILO 3 and 4)

Course Aims

This course aims to help students develop the key skills of critical paper analysis and experimental planning.  

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Critically discuss data presented in a published, peer reviewed scientific paper

2. Write a critical review of a primary scientific publication in an appropriate style for a scientific

3. Propose a novel, testable hypothesis or research question

4. Design an experiment or series of experiments to test the hypothesis

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.