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Undergraduate Programme Specification

MSci Marine Biology

Academic Year 2021/22

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance processes. All degrees are awarded by Queen's University Belfast.

Programme Title MSci Marine Biology Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)
Master in Science
Programme Code MRB-MSCI-S UCAS Code C162 HECoS Code 100351 - Marine biology - 100
ATAS Clearance Required No
Mode of Study Full Time
Type of Programme Undergraduate Master Length of Programme 4 Academic Year(s) Total Credits for Programme 480
Exit Awards available

Institute Information

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Biological Sciences

Quality Code
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code

Higher Education Credit Framework for England
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/higher-education-credit-framework-for-england

Level 7

Subject Benchmark Statements
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/qualifications-frameworks.pdf

Biosciences (2019)

Accreditations (PSRB)

Royal Society of Biology

Date of most recent Accreditation Visit 24-01-20

Regulation Information

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

None

Programme Specific Regulations

Programme Specific Regulations In addition to the Study Regulations for Undergraduate Programmes:

To be awarded the degree of MSci Marine Biology students must pass the final year project module BIO4301 (120 CATS).

Students that have not met the minimum credit requirement for an integrated Master’s degree will exit with the BSc in Marine Biology.

In order to proceed to the MSCI degree, students must pass the honours project module BIO3308 (40 CATS) with a mark of 60% or more and must have an overall weighted average of at least 60%. Students who do not meet these requirements will be required to transfer to the BSc in Marine Biology.

To be awarded the exit award of the BSc Honours Marine Biology, in addition to the Study Regulations for Undergraduate Programmes students must pass the honours project module BIO3308 (40 CATS).

Students enrolled on BSc in Marine Biology may transfer into this programme at any stage provided that they have a weighted mean mark of at least 60%.
Students enrolled on this pathway may transfer to BSc in Marine Biology up until the end of Stage 3.

Degree Classification
The following module weightings should be used when calculating the honours classification: Stage 1 5%, Stage 2 15%, Stage 3 30%, Stage 4 50%.

Students with protected characteristics

The programme does not contain barriers to access or progression among protected groups.

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

Educational Aims Of Programme

The MSci Honours Marine Biology Programme is designed to give graduates in-depth knowledge of marine sciences at a broad level. This course allows students to study core concepts regarding life in the oceans from the molecular to ecosystem level. Alongside marine specific content students are introduced to cutting edge research in the broader biosciences from cell biology and microbiology through to climate change and conservation biology. The programme is underpinned by an active research environment and aims to enable all students to develop comprehensive subject-specific knowledge with practical and transferable skills in the area of marine science whilst encouraging creative thinking and innovation. An integral component of the course will be the completion of a year-long research project that is informed by the knowledge and understanding of the subject through current scholarship and research. On completion of the programme successful students will have developed the knowledge and expertise required to pursue a research or other professional career in the Marine and the broader Biological Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Analyse, synthesise and critically evaluate scientific literature.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through lectures, practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through class tests, unseen written examinations, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and project/MSci thesis.

Apply subject knowledge and understanding to generate hypotheses to address familiar and unfamiliar problems in the academic and work-related environment.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through lectures, practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, Professional Studies module, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through class tests, unseen written examinations, practical reports, placement portfolio, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and project/MSci thesis

Demonstrate the ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems and appreciate the limitations of current hypotheses.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through lectures, practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through class tests, unseen written examinations, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and project/MSci thesis.

Recognise the importance of academic and research integrity and ethical issues of investigations.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through lectures, practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through class tests, unseen written examinations, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and project/MSci thesis.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding of the major concepts, theories and processes pertaining to the marine environment and its flora and fauna.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge-based subject-specific learning and teaching is provided through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year/MSci project work, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honour project thesis.

Theoretical basis of marine science including an understanding of the
physical and chemical processes that occur in the marine environment

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge-based subject-specific learning and teaching is provided through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year/MSci project work, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honour project thesis.

Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of marine system from the molecular through to populations and ecosystems, based on the recurring theme of evolution and natural selection.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge-based subject-specific learning and teaching is provided through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year/MSci project work, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honour project thesis.

Exhibit a critical awareness of the molecular basis of genetics and molecular biology through to “omic” technologies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge-based subject-specific learning and teaching is provided through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year/MSci project work, online learning via the University VLE and independent study.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honour project thesis.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Comprehend the scientific literature relating to marine science and integrate information there from to address problems, and formulate and test hypotheses

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data is developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Be able to devise, evaluate and carry out experimental work in a marine sciences laboratory and/or and intractable marine environment.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data is developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Document and present data, using appropriate statistical analysis.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data is developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Comply with health and safety regulations and ethics procedures relevant to the specific project type and/or practical environment

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data is developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Be proficient in the use of IT for accessing databases and scientific literature, manipulating, processing and presenting data and written
assignments.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Scientific writing workshops, library courses, online teaching material. Subject specific practicals, final year Honours project, MSci project and optional work placement. Skills in laboratory work and in the analysis and interpretation of data is developed incrementally beginning at stage 1 and 2 through to the final year research project and the MSci research project. Students will follow safety protocols relating to practical work at all stages and will prepare risk assessments as part of their research project.

Methods of Assessment

SStudents are assessed through written reports, direct observation in the laboratory (OSPE) or field, essays and the honours and MSci projects. Students are referred to the primary literature in support of taught modules and prepare a project-oriented review. Practical reports, completion of practical skills portfolio. Completion of /compliance with Ethical procedures, COSHH and Risk Assessments.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate an ability to communicate and apply knowledge of the biological sciences to peers and non-scientists using a range of media.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honour project thesis.

Exhibit the personal and intellectual skills necessary for the world of employment and lifelong learning including:
- intellectual independence,
- self-motivation,
- effective time management and planning,
- an adaptable, flexible approach to learning
- the ability to work as part of a team.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, Professional Studies Module, MSci project online learning via the University VLE and
independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory
achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, placement portfolio, preplacement assignment, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and a project thesis.

Demonstrate innovation in science through discovery and the
application of knowledge.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honour project thesis.

Demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers for data
management and presentation.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honour project thesis.

Demonstrate proficiency in the collation, quantitative analysis, graphical presentation, and interpretation of experimental data, and the ability to problem-solve.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The development of transferrable skills is embedded throughout the curriculum. Learning methods underpinning transferrable skill acquisition is through lectures, module practical classes, discussions, field work, tutorials, group work, final year project work, MSci project, online learning via the University VLE and independent study. Certain transferable skills, such as self-motivation, adaptability and flexibility are embedded within the learning and may not be separately assessed. However, satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills are developed to an appropriate level.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through unseen written examinations, class tests, practical reports, oral presentations, essays, posters, case studies, data analysis and MSci/honour project thesis.

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Design, plan and manage a significant research project

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Through MSci research project

Methods of Assessment

Project proposal, research lab book, interim reports and final dissertation.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of a specific aspect of the subject through research led discovery

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Through MSci research project

Methods of Assessment

Project proposal, research lab book, interim reports and final dissertation.

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Manage and deliver project type work in the workplace setting.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes are achieved through Professional Studies module

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed through preplacement assignment (CV, Cover letter, Reflective document), a Placement Portfolio (Work Based Learning activity, Placement Provider report, Reflective report, Log Book) and presentation

Module Information

Stages and Modules

Module Title Module Code Level/ stage Credits

Availability

Duration Pre-requisite

Assessment

S1 S2 Core Option Coursework % Practical % Examination %
The World of Microorganisms BIO1301 1 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%
Biodiversity BIO1305 1 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 50% 0% 50%
Molecular Basis of Life BIO1304 1 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%
Work Placement BIO2303 2 20 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Cell Biology BIO2104 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Coastal and Oceanic Biology BIO2206 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%
Applied Ecology BIO2107 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Animal Biology and Physiology BIO2306 2 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 50% 0% 50%
Applied Genetics BIO2205 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%
Marine Systems BIO2108 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Research Project BIO3308 3 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Sustainable Oceans BIO3102 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Behavioural Ecology BIO3108 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 40% 0% 60%
Global Change Biology BIO3205 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Conservation Biology BIO3206 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 50% 0% 50%
Research Project (MSci) BIO4301 4 120 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%

Notes

Stage 1: Students must take the compulsory modules (120 CATS) listed below.

Stage 2: Students must take the compulsory modules (100 CATS) listed and one other module (20 CATS) from the optional modules listed.

Stage 3: Students must take the compulsory modules 120 CATS module listed Students are expected to commit to, and complete the MSci programme. Those who wish to exit the programme at the end of Stage 3 may be permitted to transfer to the corresponding BSc (Hons) by their Adviser of Studies

Stage 4: Students must take the compulsory modules listed (120CATS) Students must take an equal distribution of CATS points between semesters.