BMS5002 - Research skills and techniques - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Biomedical Sciences


Dr Melanie Pritchard

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit is a designed to allow students to gain the laboratory techniques and research skills to develop their capacity for independent research within laboratories in the biomedical and health sciences. Students will receive extensive hands on laboratory and research training alongside tutorials and lectures designed to give students a strong theoretical background. Laboratory and research skills will be taught in context of the skills of scientific enquiry and problem-solving to engage students in the framework for successful operation within a research environment.


Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate confidence in use of specific laboratory techniques and research methods applicable to biology, biotechnology and biomedical science.
  2. Explain the basis of the scientific method from building a hypothesis, to the importance of testing scientific ideas through experimental methods and the need in science to gain experimental proof for a hypothesis.
  3. Independently develop experimental approaches to a research task and select appropriate techniques for measurement and data collection, comprehending the advantages and limitations of different techniques of data collection and measurement.
  4. Apply scientific concepts on controls, replication, reductionist and expansionist approaches, sources of error and error minimisation, and the application of research ethics and integrity to scientific data collection and analysis.
  5. Critically analyse and organise research data and methodology, applying appropriate research methods to study design, collection of data and data analysis.
  6. Work effectively in a collaborative environment as part of a team in a laboratory setting to address a scientific question.


  • Pre-lab knowledge assessment tasks (10%)
  • Post-lab knowledge consolidation tasks (15%) (Hurdle)
  • Laboratory experimental reports (4,000 words total or equivalent) (45%) (Hurdle)
  • Experimental design task (3,000 words or equivalent) (20%) (Hurdle)
  • Tutor evaluation of individual student in-class engagement and contribution (10%)

Workload requirements

On-campus: 12-13 hours of contact per week & 13 self-directed study hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in Master of Biomedical and Health Science