Postgraduate taught 

Bioinformatics MSc/PgDip/PgCert

MSc Bioinformatics Project BIOL5173P

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Life Sciences
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

Students will complete an individual laboratory-based project within a research group.


The course will involve a minimum of 15 hours contact time with the supervisor and members of the host research group/collaborators. The remaining time will be spent in independent project work.


The student is assessed by the laboratory supervisor on their performance doing research; this assessment contributes 20% of the course grade. The student is also assessed on the project report both by the supervisor and by two independent members of staff acting as assessors; this assessment contributes 55% of the course grade. In addition, the assessors will assess the performance of the student during a viva voce examination; this contributes 25% of the mark.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which 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. 


The supervisor mark for performance on the project cannot be reassessed.

Course Aims

The project aims to equip students with a range of advanced skills in relation to the formulation, planning and practicalities of short research projects. It will give students an insight into how research is carried out in one or more of the fields of bioinformatics, omics analysis and systems biology, and practice in selected research techniques and data analysis approaches. It will give students the opportunity to develop and enhance their analytical and organizational skills through hands-on research and the opportunity to develop their ability to work independently. It will provide practice in the writing of substantial project reports.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ design, plan and undertake original research in bioinformatics and/or omics analysis and/or systems biology;

■ critically appraise and select appropriate research techniques used in one or more of these fields;

■ identify, synthesise, summarise and critically evaluate prior research data and conclusions in a specific area;

■ discuss new research findings in their project area in the context of existing knowledge and in the context of further research;

■ present research findings in the form of a high-quality written project report;

■ formulate and test hypotheses and solve problems through computer analysis by defining scientific questions and addressing them critically;

■ give clear, well-constructed oral and written presentations on advanced topics in their project area;

■ plan and manage their time effectively by prioritising tasks and meeting deadlines;

■ work co-operatively to develop interpersonal and teamwork skills

■ work with a significant degree of autonomy.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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