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Unit information: Research Project in Translational Cardiovascular Medicine in 2018/19

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Unit name Research Project in Translational Cardiovascular Medicine
Unit code SOCSM0010
Credit points 100
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Holmes
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


The research project consists of an extended period of research work (constituting 100 out of a total of 180 credits for this programme), followed by the writing of a dissertation in the form of a thesis, and oral presentation, and a poster presentation followed by a viva. The research project will apply the knowledge and skills introduced and developed in the MRes HSR Unit 1 – Introduction to Research; Unit 2 – Further Research Methods; Unit 4 – Research Club; plus the two units selected from the MSc TCM Units TCM03; TCM04; TCM05; TCM06; TCM07.

Students will design and conduct research in the field of cardiovascular science. Students will collect, analyse, interpret and critically assess their results. They will write-up their findings in a thesis which will include an abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion (in which they will integrate new information into current scientific knowledge), and references. Students will present and defend their ideas and conclusions through written and spoken communication in their thesis, oral presentation and viva.

Intended learning outcomes

By completion of this unit the students should be able to:

1. Design and execute experiments / research.

2. Analyse, interpret and critically evaluate their own scientific data.

3. Appraise competing hypotheses and understand how their own data fits within current scientific understanding or beliefs.

4. Communicate original findings and ideas to a specialist audience using written and verbal presentation skills.

5. Apply knowledge and transferable skills learned in MRes HSR Units 1, 2 and 4 and MSc TCM Units chosen from TCM03-07.These include: subject-specific knowledge; computer skills; experimental / research methodology; time management; organisation; effective team and independent work.

Teaching details

Independent research with theoretical and practical supervision from the Project Supervisor and designated second ‘day-to-day’ supervisor.

Guidance in the form of tutorials from Unit Lead and Programme Directors.

Assessment Details

Assessment details Please state the methods used for formative and summative assessment, including essay word length, length and type of exams, projects, etc. The relative contributions of the different summative assessments to the overall unit mark should also be included, e.g. 3-hour written exam (60%), 2000 word essay (40%). Please link the assessment to the intended learning outcomes bearing in mind that it is expected that all intended learning outcomes are assessed.
Students will work on an independent research project for 6 months, devised following consultation with a PI with expertise in the field of translational cardiovascular science. Students will write-up their research in the form of a thesis (10,000 +/- 500 words). This will account for 70% of the summative assessment for this unit. Students will discuss the proposed content with supervisors, and provide a written outline for formative feedback and approval, before writing of the thesis begins. The equivalent of one complete draft can be submitted to the supervisor for formative feedback once only. The thesis will be independently assessed by the supervisor and one other member of academic staff with the relevant background knowledge (but who had not been directly involved with the project). This will assess leaning outcomes 1-5. Students will present a 10 minute talk summarising their research and be expected to answer questions pertaining to it. Verbal formative feedback will be given to a practice talk during the unit. The final talk accounts for 5% of the summative assessment and will primarily assess learning outcome 4. Students will have a viva conducted after a poster presentation of their work. This accounts for 25% of the summative assessment for this unit and students are expected to pass with a mark of at least 50% to pass the unit overall. This will assess learning outcomes 1-5. The final viva will be conducted by an appropriate panel of academic staff, including a Programme Director. Students will be offered a practice viva with formative verbal feedback during the course of the unit.

Reading and References

Reviews and primary literature relevant to the subject of the research project.