Many students who graduate in the life sciences do not follow a laboratory based career, either through choice or lack of opportunity, and the classical laboratory research based final year honours project may not be the best preparation for them for their future employment. It could also be argued that with increasing budgetary/ space/supervisory constraints on 'wet' projects, many departments would benefit not only themselves, but their students, by providing other types of Honours projects.
There have been some initiatives to offer so called 'dry' projects, usually involving some data acquisition, data handling or questionnaire studies which suit some students and degree disciplines very well. Another alternative pioneered at the University of Glasgow in the last two years has been the provision of 'commercial projects'. These are available to all final year students from the 20 different Honours degrees in Biosciences, offered by the Faculty of Biological and Life Sciences. They carry the same credit and assessment weighting as the traditional wet/dry projects and are completed in the same timescale, being worth approximately 12% of the final degree mark and taking 2 days a week over a 10 week period.