Scientific Writing for Medical Communications BIOL5411

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Scientific writing is a skill essential to those in research and in industry. It involves the writing of publication articles (journal manuscripts and abstracts), research documents or information. The information provided in these formats needs to be presented succinctly and at a level of understanding for the target audience. Scientific writers need to be able to search for and critically review literature, understand and present data. This course aims to provide basic and fundamental understanding of the language, structure, citations and presentation of a scientific document to be presented to a target audience.


This course will be taught over 5 weeks and consist of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Summative assessment will consist of:

1. Group presentation (25%) 10 minutes (ILO1 and ILO 2).


2. Scientific writing (75%): 2500 words approximately (ILO 1, 2, 3 and 4).

Course Aims

This course will develop students' critical thinking, while building their competency in different types of scientific writing. Through a variety of lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials we will explore the basic skills needed to write a scientific report and essay and how to peer review scientific articles. This course aims to enable students to:

- Engage in the critical assessment of literature, editing and revising scientific writing;

- Develop skills in scientific writing to critically explore various methods of communication;

-Build critical skills in giving feedback to peers.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Critically evaluate scientific literature to make informed judgement on the strength of the research article and study design

2. Critically evaluate scientific communications for appropriateness and compliance of scientific area and reference editing in compliance with the publishing journal's guidelines

3. Critically assess various methods of communication

4. Communicate effectively well-structured scientific arguments in written form

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.