Postgraduate taught 

Digital Cancer Technologies MSc

Project Design and Data Analysis in Cancer Research BIOL5400

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

Short Description

This course will introduce students to the process of designing their own research project using robust research methodology and methods of data analysis. Throughout the course, students will learn about key considerations in the design process and will be introduced to several core methods of data analysis including basic "omic" approaches.


This course consists of lectures, tutorials and supervisor meetings.


Oral presentation (40%) - Students will present their project proposal to an audience of their peers and assessors, focusing on the scientific background and rationale of their research question.

ILO1, 2, 3


Written report/research proposal (60%) - Students will write a research proposal of no more than 2,200 words. The report should follow a set structure with sub-sections as outlined in the assessment brief and will be assessed by subject area experts following a marking rubric available to the students at the start of the course. The relative weightings of each section of the report are indicated by the word count guidelines for each section.

ILO1, 3-6

Course Aims

This course aims to provide students with a critical understanding of research project design, including experimental methodology and data analysis. Students will learn to construct and write a research project proposal and will receive training in relevant, common methods of data analysis in the biosciences.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

(i) Critically discuss and evaluate scientific methodology for research in published literature;

(ii) Identify, by critical appraisal of the literature, an appropriate scientific question and develop a hypothesis;

(iii) Design a scientific plan to address this hypothesis in line with current ethical standards and legislation;

(iv) Prepare scientific protocols for use in the scientific plan, suitable for the given time and budget constraints;

(v) Critically evaluate appropriate methods of data analysis; 

(vi) Critically discuss and evaluate approaches for dissemination of scientific research;

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.