Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

C11111 Experimental Design and Analysis 1
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  11/12

Total Credits: 10

Level: Level 1

Target Students:  The course is designed for students in the School of Biology but not restricted to them.  Available to JYA/Erasmus students.

Taught Semesters:

Autumn Assessed by end of Autumn Semester 

Prerequisites: None.

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  Good science requires good experimental design and careful analysis of results. The aim of this module is to provide you with the basic tools you will need to plan your own scientific investigations, and to critically evaluate the work of others. We will examine some simple but fundamental ideas that underpin the way that biologists plan, conduct and interpret observations and experiments. We will pay particular attention to the use of statistics to analyse biological data, and we will explore the usefulness and limitations of a number of commonly used statistical tests. In the practical component of the module, you will learn how to implement these tests yourself using a standard computer package (SPSS). Module Web Links:
  • Reading List
  • Method and Frequency of Class:

    ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
    Lecture 11 weeks1 per week1 hour 30 mins
    Workshop 4 weeks1 per week2 hours

    Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

    Method of Assessment: 

    Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
    Exam 1 50 1 hour 30 minute exam 
    Coursework 1 50 Group work requiring the collection, analysis, and presentation of data collected over the course 

    Dr T Reader

    Education Aims:  To familiarise students with the application of the "scientific method" in biology, focusing on the formulation and testing of hypotheses. To teach students good practice in experimental design. To provide a basic outline of all aspects of data handling, analysis, interpretation and description. To familiarise students with common statistical tests and a standard computer statistics package. To familiarise students with computer statistical test outputs, and show how to interpret these outputs. To provide students with a workbook that will be useful to them in future practical exercises.

    Learning Outcomes:  Learning outcomes are flagged as t=taught; l=learned through individual study; p=practiced; a=assessed.

    Knowledge and understanding:
    A1. The relationship between Biology and other disciplines (t+l+p)

    Intellectual Skills:
    B1. Critically analyse and interpret published information and data (t+l+p+a)
    B2. Think independently while giving due weight to the arguments of others (t+l+p)
    B3. Understand complex ideas and relate them to specific problems or questions (t+l+p+a)
    B4. Acquire substantial quantities of information systematically, process it effectively, and draw appropriate conclusions (l+p+a)
    B5. Make and record accurate observations and measurements (l+p+a)

    Practical Skills:
    C1. Carry out scientific research and evaluate and make use of the material so acquired (t+l+p+a)
    C2. Write and construct scientific documents (e.g. papers, reports, posters etc) using appropriate styles, conventions, and terminology (t+l+p+a)
    C4. Undertake appropriate experimental design and statistical analysis (t+p+l+a)
    C5. Undertake practical experimental work using appropriate equipment and instruments (l+p+a)

    Transferable Skills:
    D1. Communicate effectively in writing (t+l+p+a)
    D3. Organise and manage your working time, schedule tasks, and meet deadlines (l)
    D4. Use and access information and communication technology (t+l+p)
    D5. Reflect upon and assess your own progress, strenghts and weaknesses (l)
    D6. Manage and manipulate numerical data (t+l+p+a)
    D7. Work productively with others (l)

    Offering School:  Life Sciences

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