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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Biological Architecture (BIME11138)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits80 ECTS Credits40
SummaryBiological architecture includes, but goes beyond, consideration of physical structures. It encompasses the structures of systems, of networks, of connections; it involves structures in time and space, and it is concerned with the fundamental principles of organization that separate the living from the non-living world.
Course description This MSc Theme will consider biological architectures at a variety of scales, and will range from literal physical structures to the more abstract architectures of metabolism, of control and of learning. It will end with a session on how lessons of biological architecture can be applied to engineering. The theme will be taught in a series of workshops that will deliberately use a variety of formats, including Journal clubs, problem-based learning, computer-based workshops and hands-on exercises. Students will emerge with a deepened understanding of how living systems work, that they can go on to apply to any other area of biological interest.
The draft plan of workshops will include the following areas: 'Design' principles of biology; The architecture of the genome; The architecture of metabolism; The physical architecture of living cells; Self-organizing architectures; Architectures for embryogenesis; Architectures, forces and function; Environmental influences on biological architecture; Architectures for learning; Taking bio-inspired architectures to the world of engineering.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 800 ( Lecture Hours 20, Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 40, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 640, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 3, Formative Assessment Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 16, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 59 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 20-week maxi project write-up (maximum 10,000 words) = 100%
Feedback Students will be given instant feedback in workshop sessions. In the research project, students will be given routine feedback by their research supervisor at tutorials and laboratory meetings where students will be expected to present their research data for critical review. Feedback will be provided on a formative (2500 word) review essay and on drafts of the Dissertation. Feedback on the assessed component (i.e. the Dissertation) will be provided by the Programme director and Theme organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop detailed knowledge and understanding in the dynamic research area of Biological Architecture.
  2. Stimulate critical thinking, and the formulation and testing of experimental hypotheses.
  3. Acquire a range of relevant experimental research, and generic/transferrable skills, including significant experience in interdisciplinary working.
  4. Acquire skills in ICT, numeracy, data presentation and statistical analysis of experimental results.
  5. Develop oral and written presentational skills.
Reading List
Recommended reading or other learning resources will be discussed with the Supervisor/Theme organiser at the time of establishing the project.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students on this Theme will develop the cognitive skills required for the critical analysis and eloquent presentation of their data and those published by other workers in the area of Biological Architecture.
Students will learn about the presentation and analysis of quantitative data and develop the numeracy, data presentation and IT skills required for the communication of their work to their peers.
Students will work within, and be an active part of, a research group/team led by their supervisor working at the cutting edge of research into Biological architecture in the Centre for Integrative Physiology (DBMS) and CSE. Students will do the comprehensive background reading required for their project and in discussion with their supervisor, identify experimental protocols and future research directions and thus develop an autonomous approach to their project.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Jamie Davies
Tel: (0131 6)50 2999
Course secretaryMiss Fiona Brodie
Tel: (0131 6)51 5997
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