BIMBC12-Advanced Topics in Biomedicine and Critical Appraisal Skills

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Phillip Dash


Summary module description:
Understanding the scientific literature is an essential skill for a successful career in research. In this module students will learn about the latest developments in biomedical research and will learn how to critically evaluate this research, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of published studies and developing their own conclusions from the data presented. Students will discuss in small groups the latest scientific papers in order to understand the latest research and gain an appreciation for how this research was designed and conducted and how best to critically evaluate the findings. Students will also attend weekly seminars given by eminent external speakers.

To enable students to understand the latest research across a range of topics in the biomedical sciences and to be able to critically appraise and evaluate the quality of scientific papers. To understand and be able to evaluate the latest publications in the area relevant to their choice of specialist topic.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module students should understand the experimental design and theoretical foundations underlying published scientific papers. Students should be able to critically evaluate the experimental design, methods, analysis and conclusions of published papers as well as be able to suggest additional experiments to extend the published studies. Students should be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to research questions adopted in different studies.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop communication, writing and critical analysis skills through class participation, reading of materials, preparation of reports and a group presentation.

Outline content:
Content will be based on the latest biomedical research and so specific details cannot be given of the papers that will be discussed or the seminars that will be presented. However papers will cover a variety of topics that will reflect the interest of the students on the programme.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will primarily be delivered by weekly small group discussions. Additionally individual or group study will be required prior to the paper discussions and individual reflection on the issues raised will be expected after the discussions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 10 10
Guided independent study 40 40
Total hours by term 50.00 50.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Class test administered by School 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
A reassessment essay title will be provided by the module convenor.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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