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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Bioscience and Society
Module Code SS335
School School of Health & Human Performance
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ronan Murphy
Semester 2: Ronan Murphy
Autumn: Ronan Murphy
Module TeachersRonan Murphy
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
In the case of a fail mark, students will be required to re-submit course-work.

This module is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary course that combines the study of the biological sciences with the exploration of how they influence social and ethical aspects of life. The module will also cover how current health, socioeconomic and societal challenges drive scientific discovery. Overall, the module will demonstrate and educate the following- To understand what the various fields of Bioscience are and how they impacts our lives, and vice-a-versa. To examine the role of the media in influencing public awareness/perception of bioscience. Scientific communication. To understand how the Bioscience is regulated (e.g. IP, patenting, ethics). To create a forum within which students may identify topical bioscience issues and concerns for discussion through case study research and presentation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Debate bioscience issues wrt scientific principles, societal impacts & future trends
2. Interpret the role of the media in shaping public perception of bioscience
3. Present (orally) a comprehensive overview of a bioscience topic as part of a larger team-based case study
4. Prepare a detailed and properly formatted written account of a topical bioscience issue and its role/affect/influence on society. Understanding of how society challenges influence and drive scientific discovery. Identify knowledge gaps and future opportunities in the life sciences and biomedical fields.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture12Understanding the links between bioscience and society. Analysis of potential group projects.
Group work24Group case study research and preparation.
Debate12Group presentations of selected case studies.
Independent Study77Essay research and preparation.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Overview of bioscience topics for group work
Possible topics: Elite athlete programmes, drugs in sport, animal testing, clinical trials, cloning, bioscience and environment, gene patenting, genetic screening, medical devices, GMOs, infectious disease therapeutics, GM foods, stem cells, personalized medicine

The bioscience community
Who and what comprise the bioscience community (public and private sector)? What are its inputs and outputs (e.g. IP)? How is the community regulated? What are the ethical considerations?

Bioscience and the public
How does the bioscience community interface with/ impact on society? What should the goals of bioscience be? What is the role of the media? Public awareness of controversial issues. What type of information is produced and how does it flow (e.g. dissemination of information and findings)?

Understand the complex relationship between science and society.
Train students to understand the social context of science, to ask how and why a biological problem has been and should be studied. Students will explore the ways in which policy decisions shape and are shaped by biological research and will investigate the meaning and significance the Biomedical sciences in understanding our complex world.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PresentationStudents will be asked to demonstrate an ability to prepare and deliver, as part of a larger team, an oral presentation on a selected aspect of bioscience in society. Question handling and debating skills will be included in the assessment, as will the students ability to interpret the role and potential influence of the media in this context.60%Every Week
EssayStudents will be asked to demonstrate an ability to prepare a properly formatted essay on a topical bioscience issue40%Sem 1 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • John Scales Avery: 2016, Science and Society, World Scientific, 9789813147737
Other Resources

51740, Website, 0, PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed,
Programme or List of Programmes
PEBB.Sc Physical Education with Biology

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