Professional Skills 4 VETSCI4025

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The Professional Skills 4 course aims to better prepare students for their Semester 2 research project and for transition into employment through a grounding in research methodologies, quantitative techniques, an insight into Biosciences business practice and an awareness of their transferable skills.


Weekly lectures, seminars and practical classes.

Requirements of Entry

Students must have attained the minimum requirements for entry into level 4 of the Veterinary Biosciences [Hons]/MSci Programme as specified in the Veterinary Biosciences [Hons]/MSci Programme Supplementary Regulations.

Excluded Courses



In course assessment (100%): Statistics DIQ (35%), Experimental design exercise (30%), Scientific communication exercise (35%), Personal Development Plan (Pass/Fail). Students must achieve a pass for the PDP to pass the course.


End of course assessment: No end of course exam

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The Professional Skills 4 course aims to provide students with a critical understanding of research methodology, a detailed framework of the research process and an understanding of experimental design and statistical analysis suitable for biologists. Additionally it will provide insight into business practices in the context of Biosciences. The preparation of a reflective portfolio derived from the personal development plan of individual students will encourage reflective practice and an appreciation of transferable skills acquired and developed throughout the programme.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically evaluate research methods and techniques that can be applied in scientific research 

■ Apply appropriate experimental design at the levels of whole study design and quantitative data analysis 

■ Critically evaluate legal, ethical and credibility issues related to biosciences research 

■ Discuss the value of public engagement and science communication in research science

■ Design scientific communications, of qualitative and/or quantitative nature, aimed at biological and non-specialist audiences

■ Critically evaluate Bioscience business strategies

■ Evidence development of, and reflection on, their own knowledge and transferable skills throughout the programme through a personal development plan

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.