PM4A-Pharmaceutical Research and Enquiry

Module Provider: Pharmacy
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites: PM1A Fundamentals of Physiology or PM1AM Fundamentals of Physiology (UoRM Campus) and PM1B Medicines Discovery, Design, Development and Delivery or PM1BM Medicines Discovery, Design, Development and Delivery (UoRM Campus) and PM1C Introduction to Professionalism and Practice or PM1CM Introduction to Professionalism and Practice (UoRM Campus) and PM2A2 Therapeutics and medicines optimisation A2: Molecules and Medicines or PM2A2M Therapeutics and Medicines Optimisation A: Molecules and Medicines (
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: PM4B Advanced Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacy Practice
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Graeme Cottrell


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This research-focused module provides students with the opportunity to take the lead on a research topic. The module is made up of three components: 1) development of research and enquiry skills, 2) attendance at research seminars upon which assessable pieces of coursework are undertaken and 3) a research project assessed by a project write-up, project performance, a poster session and a final project viva.

The module has an online component that introduces generic and discipline-specific advanced research skills. The online material will aid students in the execution of their research projects. Online material will enable students to learn about the research skills needed in their own time and cater for students in Malaysia.

The seminar series will comprise of talks given by staff on their own research areas. Based on these seminars, each student will be allocated three assignments, one from each of the three sections (Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacy Practice). The assignments will allow students to demonstrate the skills that they have learnt thus far and also demonstrate the application of ‘theory into practice’.


The module will further develop students’ research and enquiry skills. Students will 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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Present their research findings in the form of a poster, as well as in an oral examination.

4. 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:

1. Students will provide constructive feedback to peers on their research and presentation.

2. Students will demonstrate independent learning skills through use of online lecture and tutorial resources that provide the skills needed to complete their project.

3. Students will be required to take account of aspects relating to health and safety at all times during their project.

4. Students will have an awareness of ethical considerations relating to developing research projects.

5. Some projects give students experience in the use of patient records.

Outline content:

Module topics:

Introductory Research Skills Sessions: These sessions will be available online to enable students to learn about the research skills needed for their individual projects. There will be four separate streams: 1) Generic 2) Pharmacy Practice 3) Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and 4) 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. Students will record the material viewed 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. The material can also be accessed by students who take opportunities to do industrial research placements and for students who might elect to carry out projects at our Malaysian campus.

Research Projects: Students are provided with individual research projects covering a variety of topics and will develop a research question and prepare an Outline proposal for approval by their supervisor. Students are expected 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 (if provided by the student). 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 the supervisor should attend for the Outline Proposal to be signed off. During the project work period, students will formally attend weekly meetings (if required) with their supervisors. MPharm project conference: The project work will take place over a 10 week period with an MPharm poster conference organised in the spring term. Assessment of the poster will be by 3rd and 4th markers. The poster can either be printed out as A1 (at the student’s expense) or as a series of A4 sheets. Finally, students will be assessed by their supervisor and another academic (different from the 3rd and 4th markers for the poster) during a ‘mini viva’ to be held after the exam period has finished.

Research Seminar Series: The module will include a seminar series where staff from each section will showcase their own research activities, 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 from each division, 2 sides A4 max).

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 30
Report 50
Project output other than dissertation 10
Oral assessment and presentation 5
Practical skills assessment 5

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Feedback on draft submission of project reports and posters is provided. The project report and viva are marked by the project supervisor and one independent assessor. Poster is assessed by two additional independent markers.

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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Students must obtain an overall module mark of 50% to pass this module.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination by written dissertation

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

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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