PM4A-Pharmaceutical Research and Enquiry

Module Provider: Pharmacy
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Graeme Cottrell


Summary module description:
This research led module provides students with the opportunity to take a lead on a research topic. The module is made up of three components: development of research and enquiry skills, attendance of seminars upon which an assessable piece of coursework is undertaken, and a research project – assessed by a project write-up mark, a project performance mark, a poster session, and a final project viva. The module has an on-line component, where generic and discipline specific advanced research skills are introduced. These sessions are meant to aid the students in the execution of their projects, and are available on-line in order to enable students to learn about the research skills needed in their own time, as well as to cater for students in Malaysia.
The seminar series will comprise of lectures given by staff in their own research areas. Based on these lectures, each student will be given an exercise comprising of three different tasks, drawn from the three sections (pharmacology, DPPC and practice) demonstrating the skills that they have learnt thus far and also demonstrating the application of ‘theory into practice’. Examples of these exercises can be found on the PM4A blackboard site.

The aim of this module is to further develop students’ research and enquiry skills and allow students to undertake original research in an area of relevance to pharmacy through the design and execution of an individual project, under the direction of an academic supervisor.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will:
•On the basis of current research literature, and with individual support from an academic supervisor, construct a hypothesis or a research question and then carry out a research project to test that hypothesis or to answer that research question
•Prepare a report of the project in the form of a research paper demonstrating comprehensive understanding and critical interpretation of their methodologies and data to set the research in context
•Present their research findings both in the form of a poster, as well as in an oral examination
•Learn about aspects of the research process from the seminar series across the three different pharmacy areas, and undertake three exercises aimed at demonstrating evidence-based practice.

Additional outcomes:
•Students will provide constructive feedback to peers on their research and presentation
•Students will demonstrate independent learning skills through use of on line lecture and tutorial resources that provide the skills needed to complete their project
•Students will be required to take account of aspects relating to health and safety at all times during their project (10.2.3j)
•Students will have an awareness of ethical considerations relating to developing research projects
•Some projects give students experience in use of patient records

Outline content:
Module topics:
Introductory research skills sessions: These sessions will be available on-line to enable students to learn about the research skills needed for their individual projects. There will be four separate streams; generic, pharmacy practice, chemistry & pharmaceutics, and pharmacology research skills. All students will view the generic research skills stream and at least one other that will depend on the focus of their individual research project. The sessions attended will be recorded in a log book. This material is designed to be able to be taught remotely, to enable students to prepare for their projects in their own time. Also, the material can then be accessed for students who take opportunities to do industrial research placements and for students who might elect to carry out projects at our Malaysian campus (not available in 2016/17).
Research projects: Students are provided with individual research projects covering a variety of topics.
Students will develop a research question and prepare a brief research proposal for approval by their supervisor and second assessor. A project log book will be provided to students to record meetings with their supervisor, ethics approval process (if required) and ensure timely progress during the project design phase and to formalise meetings with their supervisor both before and during the practical period for the project. Each meeting, training point or progress indicator will be signed and dated by the supervisor in the log book.
Students will attend two meetings with their supervisor prior to the project work beginning (the first to be conducted in the previous Summer term after allocation of projects has occurred) and one meeting where both the supervisor and second assessor should attend for the project plan to be signed off. During the project work period, students will formally attend weekly meetings with their supervisors.
MPharm project conference: The project work will take place over a 10 week period with an MPharm poster conference organised at a convenient time thereafter. Assessment of the poster will be by a 3rd marker. The poster can either be printed out as A0 (at the student’s expense) or as a series of 9 A4 (landscape) sheets.
Lecture series: The module will include a lecture series where staff showcase their own research activities from all disciplines, explaining to students the rationale for a single research topic or experiment, and how they determined appropriate research methods and analysis and interpretation of data. The lecturers will provide a balanced view of the outcome and encourage discussion with students. These sessions will provide the students with the necessary tools to tackle the associated research focused exercises, of which there are three for each student - one for each division, with a two-page maximum per exercise.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching and learning methods are on-line lectures, seminars, self-directed learning, and one-to-one project supervision by an academic member of staff.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Project Supervision 200
Practicals classes and workshops 15
Work-based learning 20
Guided independent study 350
Total hours by term 600.00
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 15
Report 50
Project output other than dissertation 10
Oral assessment and presentation 15
Practical skills assessment 10

Other information on summative assessment:
Feedback of draft submission of reports is provided. Project and viva are marked by a 1st and 2nd assessor. Poster is assessed by a 3rd marker.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    Students must obtain an overall module mark of 50%

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination by written dissertation

    Last updated: 10 November 2016

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