BB839: Planning and evaluation of biological studies

Study Board of Science

Teaching language: English
EKA: N110015112, N110015102
Censorship: Second examiner: None, Second examiner: Internal
Grading: Pass/Fail, 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Autumn
Level: Master

STADS ID (UVA): N110015101
ECTS value: 5

Date of Approval: 15-04-2018

Duration: 1 semester

Version: Archive


04013901 (former UVA) is identical with this course description. 

Entry requirements


Academic preconditions

Students taking the course are expected to:

  • Have basic knowledge of statistics and mathematics
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree in a field with some level or focus of quantitative methods


The aim of the course is to enable the student to formulate biological questions in order to design, analyse, interpret, and present biological studies, which is important in regard to transition from a student to become a part of the scientific community and for any basic understanding of scientific investigation.

The course builds on the knowledge acquired in the courses Mathematics for Biology, Statistics, and gives an academic basis for studying the topics of statistical analysis and designing studies, that are part of the degree.

In relation to the competence profile of the degree it is the explicit focus of the course to:

  • Give the competence to understand quantitative analysis of future projects and their underlying theories 
  • Give the competence to enter into academic collaborations and structure personal learning.
  • Give skills to use statistical software, program R, for analysis of a variety of models
  • Provide knowledge and understanding of scientific theories, experimental methods.

Statement of aims

The learning objectives of the course are that the student demonstrates the ability to:
  • formulate scientific questions in biological disciplines, e.g. ecology, physiology, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology, in order to test those questions
  • design relevant laboratory or field studies in order to test expectations
  • handle, analyse, and interpret data from experimental and field studies, including statistical analyses of linear models, ANOVA, ANCOVA, GLM, mixed effect models, and model selection (Information theoretic approaches).
  • Select appropriate models for the different types of data and designed studies 
  • Present quantitatively the results from biological studies, including graphical representation


The following main topics are contained in the course:
  • Deriving questions and hypotheses
  • Designing experiments
  • Basics of probabilities and distributions
  • Linear models and ANOVA
  • Model selection and multi model inference
  • GLM
  • Mixed effect models


Hector: The New Statistics with R.
See Blackboard for syllabus lists and additional literature references.

Examination regulations

Prerequisites for participating in the exam a)




Mandatory assignments




Second examiner: None




Full name and SDU username


Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

To be announced during the course

ECTS value


Additional information

  • Prerequisite submission of 80% of the non-graded problem sets using the statistical software of the course
  • Prerequisite submission of an annotated scientific publication with respect to structure and statistics.

The prerequisite examination is a prerequisite for participation in exam element a)

Exam element a)




Type Prerequisite name Prerequisite course
Examination part Prerequisites for participating in the exam a) N110015101, BB839: Planning and evaluation of biological studies


Written project




Second examiner: Internal


7-point grading scale


Student Identification Card


Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

Allowed, a closer description of the exam rules will be posted under 'Course Information' on Blackboard.

ECTS value


Additional information

Reexam in the same exam period or immediately thereafter.
The mode of exam at the re-examination may differ from the mode of exam at the ordinary exam.

Indicative number of lessons

48 - hours per semester

Teaching Method

Activities during the study phase:
  • Exercises (repetition)
  • Literature (preparation)
  • Annotating literature
  • Making a movie on a statistical topic (deeper learning)

Diverse option of teaching methods is offered to match the different demands of students, including lectures, in class exercises, literature, movies, e-learning, research oriented learning, online media.

Teacher responsible

Name E-mail Department
Ulrich Steiner usteiner@biology.sdu.dk Max-Planck Odense Center

Additional teachers

Name E-mail Department City
Owen Jones jones@biology.sdu.dk Biologisk Institut


Date of Approval


Administrative Unit

Biologisk Institut

Recommended course of study

Profile Programme Semester Period