A coordinated approach to embedding skills in undergraduate bioscience degree curricula has been underway at Edinburgh Napier University for over a decade, with positive impacts measured through Graduate Outcomes and the National Student Survey. For the past four years, final year undergraduate students studying Microbiology and Biomedical Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University have been offered a variety of structured, group supervised, off the shelf honours projects. Topics span a range of desk-based (education, public attitude and computational biology) and lab-based (microbiology, immunology, toxicology and molecular pathology) approaches, and all involve data collection, analysis and presentation, meeting the requirements for Royal Society of Biology accreditation.
This structured, group supervision approach has proven to be sustainable and resilient in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and students continue to report positive experiences and achieve outcomes comparable to the pre-pandemic and 'traditional' project era. Online research skills workshops and group supervision has fostered an important sense of community at this important time. Furthermore, students who chose to access priority laboratory classes during lockdown report improved confidence with lab skills as they consider the transition into the world of work.
Details of the organisation and content of these projects together with an assessment of the outcomes will be presented.
Garden, C. (2021, May). Structured honours projects for sustainability, resilience and student confidence in the pandemic era and beyond. Presented at Evolving Molecular Biosciences Education, Online