AP0700 - Graduate Science Research Methods

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will provide you with an opportunity to develop your skills in the use and understanding of relevant literature and in both quantitative and qualitative methods. You will learn how to evaluate and contribute to the scientific literature and to interpret and disseminate scientific information. You will appreciate the desirable properties of research design and be able to select an experimental design appropriate to a given system and create the design matrix. You will learn how to assess the kinds of scientific data and tests of hypotheses and will be able to select, apply, and interpret the output from statistical methods of data analysis, and to evaluate the results of statistical analyses as applied to a given data set. Using contemporary science stories, you will develop scientific communication skills in systematic searching, summary writing and critical analysis of the underpinning primary research.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered each week by a combination of 2 hour guidance lectures coupled with 2 hour workshop sessions using examples relating to the lecture material. In the workshops, you will practice the skills learnt in lectures with the benefit of immediate feedback from the tutor using additional exercises and examples - these will form the basis for 2 hour workshops. The workshops will allow you to work at your own pace, combining individual and group work to ensure your confidence with all of the material and exercises in an engaging and supportive environment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be given lecture materials, workshop exercises and directed reading to inform both self-directed learning and in-class activities. You will develop skills in working independently and in small groups whilst under the guidance of a lecturer, ensuring on a week-by-week basis your confidence with each set of new skills and methods. The ELP will be utilised as a repository for lecture and workshop materials allowing you to practice techniques for the stats IT exam.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding: You will
1.Understand the hypothetico-deductive process and the processes contributing to its presentation in a variety of publication types. (Component 3)
2.Know the desirable properties of research design and power and be able to critically assess literature in this context. (Component 3)
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3.Find, appraise and disseminate scientific information. (Component 2and 3)
4.Select, apply, and assess the output from statistical methods of data analysis, including appropriate presentation of data. (Exam)
5.Construct an experimental design appropriate to a given system to create the appropriate quantitative or qualitative design matrix. (Exam)

How will I be assessed?

Exam – The IT exam will assess statistical test, methods and the ability to display and summarise the information appropriately.
(MLO’s 4, 5)
Summary assignment – a 500 word summary of a primary piece of literature that has been subsequently (and currently) explored in the popular press
(MLO’s 1, 3)
Critical Evaluation – a 1500 word critical evaluation of the same primary paper from the summary task, and its coverage in popular media sources.
(MLO’s 1, 2 and 3)
Formative opportunities will be provided in week-by-week workshops, utilising small group and individual work guided by a tutor to give immediate verbal feedback





Module abstract

Graduate Science Research methods will allow you to develop skills in experimental design and data handling including commonly used statistical tests and methods. You will use these skills as part of the ability to critically appraise other literature in the second part of the module, where you will follow a science story in the popular press at the time back to its origins in the primary literature. During this process you will develop and refine skills in systematic searching of literature as well as developing your own scientific writing style in both summary and critical writing. You will refine these skills alongside your other studies, being able to deploy them appropriately and with on-going support, providing you with a rich foundation for the rest of your studies at Masters level.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Applied Sciences

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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