BIO09062 2019 Research Methods

General Details

Full Title
Research Methods
Transcript Title
Research Methods
N/A %
Subject Area
BIO - Bio Tech/Eng/Chem
LIFE - Life Sciences
09 - NFQ Level 9
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Eva Campion
Programme Membership
SG_SBPRO_M09 201900 Master of Science in Bioprocessing

The purpose of this module is to provide students with a range of skills necessary for good research practice in academic and biopharma environments.  Students will be introduced to the appropriate theoretical perspectives involved and are provided with training in various research methodologies and techniques. Skills in scientific communication skills will also be addressed. The formal requirements of a dissertation will be outlined in order to prepare the student for the process of writing a masters' thesis. 



Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstate an understanding of scientific research, the steps involved in a research process and the various research methodologies.


Apprecaite the need for research integrity and apply these values in written and oral communications.


Develop and apply critical evaluation, reflection and interpretation skills.


Develop and communicate the skills required for presenting and publishing research.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full time and the primary mode of dissemination will be lecture delivery. A blended learning approach will be adopted where students will attend both online and live theatre lectures. This format will be augmented by both independent and directed learning strategies. A series of workshops will be employed that will foster co-operative learning and develop the students scientific communication skills (both written & oral).  A learning platform (such as moodle) will be used as a repository of educational resources (e.g. journals, online resource information) and also as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading of assignments etc.)

Module Assessment Strategies

This module will be assessed using 100% continuous assessment. As part of the course work for this module two quizzes will be employed to assess subject knowledge. A mini-project will also be undertaken by the student in a relevant discipline (e.g. biocontamination monitoring & control in a bioprocessing environment). To support this assessment the student will participate in collaborative learning groups during a series of workshops which will aim to develop skills in academic writing and presentation (e.g. abstract writing, poster preparation & oral presentation).The project may also include an oral examination with both presentation and viva elements. The remainder of the grade for this module will be achieved through a structured journal club activity. This assessment will allow the students to engage in evidence based discussion with peers and develop the students presentation and critical appraisal skills. Self assessment tests and other forms of formative assessment will be provided to students to check their own progress towards achieving the learning outcomes of the module and to motivate learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs, promoting critical thinking, evaluation and communication skills. 


Repeat Assessments

Reassessment of this module will consist of continuous assessment(s).

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Demonstrate an understanding of scientific research, the steps involved in a research process and the various research methodologies.

  • The foundations of research 
  • Model of scientific inquiry
  • The research hypothesis 
  • Research funding
  • Grant proposal writing
  • Research design
  • Applied versus basic research
  • Quantitative and qualitative techniques

Apprecaite the need for research integrity and apply these values in written and oral communications.

  • Principles and professional responsibilities
  • Research ethics
  • Data collection, sharing and interpretation
  • Plagiarism, authorship, peer review

Develop and apply critical evaluation, reflection and interpretation skills.

  • Assessing research quality
  • Research standing and context
  • Critical analysis of completed published work 
  • Tools to analyse qualitative and quantitative research data

Develop and communicate the skills required for presenting and publishing research.

  • Literature searching
  • Reference management software
  • Academic writing skills
  • Writing a research manuscript
  • Writing a critical review paper
  • Writing a masters' thesis
  • Referencing
  • Scientific poster presentations
  • Oral presentation skills



Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Quiz Continuous Assessment Assessment 30 % OnGoing 1,2
2 Research Project Project Assignment 50 % Week 13 3,4
3 Journal Club Continuous Assessment Performance Evaluation 20 % OnGoing 3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Distance Learning Suite Lecture 3 Weekly 3.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent Assessment 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2018-03-12 Success in Academic Writing Red Globe Press
ISBN 1352002043 ISBN-13 9781352002041

This concise and practical guide takes students step-by-step through the writing process, and covers core aspects of academic writing, from understanding the task and researching the topic through to composing a draft, editing copy and responding to feedback. Chapters feature numerous self-study activities, top tips and opportunities for reflection, alongside examples of good writing from a range of disciplines. By engaging with the text, students will develop confidence, technique and clarity as writers in their discipline, as well as transferable skills that are highly valued by employers. This book will be an invaluable source of guidance for students of all disciplines and levels who are required to write essays, reports, papers or dissertations as part of their studies.

Recommended Reading
2018-03-12 Critical Thinking and Persuasive Writing for Postgraduates Palgrave
ISBN 1137604425 ISBN-13 9781137604422

This hands-on guide to advanced critical analysis and argumentation will help readers to communicate in way that is orderly, rigorously supported, persuasive and clear. It demonstrates how criticality can be paired with creativity to produce an insightful and engaging piece of research, and explores how narrative styles and rhetorical devices can be used to boost the persuasiveness of an argument. Chapters blend theory with practice and contain a wealth of activities designed to help students put new skills into practice or revitalise those they already have. This is an essential resource for postgraduates and advanced undergraduates looking to hone their skills in critical analysis and communicate their ideas with precision and clarity.

Recommended Reading
2009-04-20 Writing Scientific Research Articles John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9781405193351 ISBN-13 1405193352

"Margaret Cargill's background as a linguist and research communications educator and Patrick O'Connor's experience as both research scientist and educator synergize to improve both the science and art of scientific writing. If the authors' goal is to give scientists the tools to write and publish compelling, well documented, clear narratives that convey their work honestly and in proper context, they have succeeded admirably." Veterinary Pathology, July 2009 "[The book is] clearly written, has a logical step-by-step structure, is easy to read and contains a lot of sensible advice about how to get scientific work published in international journals. The book is a most useful addition to the literature covering scientific writing." Aquaculture International, April 2009 Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps guides authors in how to write, as well as what to write, to improve their chances of having their articles accepted for publication in international, peer reviewed journals. The book is designed for scientists who use English as a first or an additional language; for research students and those who teach them paper writing skills; and for early-career researchers wanting to hone their skills as authors and mentors. It provides clear processes for selecting target journals and writing each section of a manuscript, starting with the results. The stepwise learning process uses practical exercises to develop writing and data presentation skills through analysis of well-written example papers. Strategies are presented for responding to referee comments, as well as ideas for developing discipline-specific English language skills for manuscript writing. The book is designed for use by individuals or in a class setting. Visit the companion site at for more information.

Recommended Reading
2016-10-17 Research Methods for Postgraduates John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9781118341469 ISBN-13 1118341465

guidance in all subject areas Editor:Tony Greenfield, Industrial Statistics Research Unit (ISRU), University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK Research Methods for Postgraduates brings together guidance for postgraduate students on how to organise, plan and do research from an interdisciplinary perspective. In this new edition, the already wide-ranging coverage is enhanced by the addition of new chapters on social media, evaluating the research process, Kansei engineering and medical research reporting. The extensive updates also provide the latest guidance on issues relevant to postgraduates in all subject areas, from writing a proposal and securing research funds, to data analysis and the presentation of research, through to intellectual property protection and career opportunities. This thoroughly revised new edition provides: Clear and concise advice from distinguished international researchers on how to plan, organise and conduct research. New chapters explore social media in research, evaluate the research process, Kansei engineering and discuss the reporting of medical research. Check lists and diagrams throughout. Praise for the second edition: ... the most useful book any new postgraduate could ever buy. (New Scientist) The book certainly merits its acceptance as essential reading for postgraduates and will be valuable to anyone associated in any way with research or with presentation of technical or scientific information of any kind.(Robotica) Like its predecessors, the third edition of Research Methods for Postgraduates is accessible and comprehensive, and is a must-read for any postgraduate student.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

See book list. 

Journal Resources

Relevant, up-to-date peer reviewed publications will be made available via the online learning platform. 

URL Resources

Up-to-date links will be made available via the online learning platform. 

Other Resources

Relevant, up-to-date resources will be made available via the online learning platform.