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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module (BE550) is to provide Ph.D. students with a range of workshops, presentations and assignments that will significantly aid in their progression through the Ph.D. process. By undertaking this module, students will gain a number of transferrable skills in the following areas: (i) Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) – with emphasis on Laboratory Safety, (ii) Risk Management – with emphasis on biological and chemical safety, (iii) Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documentation and (iv) a comprehensive introduction to Project Management/Leadership. Students will also develop skills specific to working with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Training will also be extended to include Operations Management, for example in disposing of biological and chemical waste in accordance with the guidelines of the DCU School of Biotechnology Safety Statement, and in parallel will focus on the correct implementation of the Hierarchy of Control for biosafety risk management. Additional components that will be addressed in BE550 include Fire Safety, Laboratory Containment (specific to work with biological agents falling into Hazard Groups 1-4) and Presentation Skills. Finally, based on the hypothesis that a Ph.D. is a project, module BE550 will provide students with project management skills, based on the implementation of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) framework. This will include workshops on the utilisation of Microsoft Project (MSP) – which is a frequently utilised tool for monitoring project progress.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the safety laboratory procedures of working with biological and chemical hazardous material.
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the standard operating procedures for the operation and effective use of core pieces of equipment.
3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the procedures and legislation of working with biological and chemical materials.
4. Develop competency in the writing of biological and chemical risk assessments, with particular emphasis on addressing (1) what the hazard(s) are, (2) who is doing what, where and when? (3) what the degree of risk is, (4) what we do to control the risk and (5) how the risk is monitored.
5. With emphasis also on risk assessment, apply knowledge acquired on biosafety risk management to develop an assessed risk management document.
6. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the basic elements of project management, in accordance with the PMBOK framework.
7. Develop a project plan using Microsoft Project (MSP).
8. Develop presentation skills, specific to addressing a scientific community.
9. Develop an understanding of leadership, with emphasis on team management.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture50Attendance at lectures, seminars and workshops as assigned by the School of Biotechnology
Group work20Peer-to-Peer, coordinator and supervisor interaction relating to all 6 learning outcomes.
Independent Study55Completion of reports, assignments and literature survey
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

Links to Software tutorials
Online tutorials for MS Excel and Endnote

School of Biotechnology Health & Safety Manual
Up-to-date safety procedures and approved EPA protocols for Biological Safety and GMOs.

Seminar lists/Research Day
Lunchtime seminar lists and the School of Biotechnology's Research Day programme will be made available in advance.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes