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Unit information: Methods, Communication and Translation in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Methods, Communication and Translation
Unit code ANAT30003
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Spear
Open unit status Not open



Advanced Dissection, Functional and Clinical Anatomy, Research Project

School/department School of Anatomy
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


Any research is incomplete until it is communicated and an increasingly diverse range of methods exist to disseminate information. This unit will not only teach the principle of research study design and its interpretation, it will discuss the central challenges in the design of anatomical research, and aim to consider how best to report research findings. Consideration of statistical methods is included and will focus on quantitative methods as appropriate to morphometric and clinical anatomical research, but qualitative methods will also be discussed. Students will be expected to participate in a number of projects which will reinforce theoretical teaching and allow methods to be practised in a supportive environment. Lay and scientific forms of communication will be addressed.

The unit aims are considered within its key themes and outputs. However the overarching theme is skills acquisition.

Key themes that will be delivered in this unit include:

  • How to develop a research question.
  • How to construct theories and hypotheses
  • What kinds of claims can be made in anatomical research and are these fair?
  • What methods should we use to test theories?
  • The advantages and disadvantages of different methodological approaches
  • Research ethics
  • Presenting research findings
  • Communicating science to a lay audience

The key outputs from this unit, which are translatable, are production of:

  • A small study research and grant proposal
  • 1 Poster
  • 1 Oral Presentation
  • 1 Scientific article
  • 1 Popular science/public understanding of science article
  • Design of and participation in an Outreach Project

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of this unit students will:

  • Be familiar with standard guidelines for research design
  • Understand the key steps in formulating a research project.
  • Know how theory, concepts and measurement are related.
  • Understand the key areas of research and grant proposals
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of different research methods, including common problems faced by researchers.
  • Be aware of the ethical considerations associated with anatomical research.
  • Be able to communicate and present research in a range of modalities

Teaching details

Seminar based discussion will be vital in developing critical reasoning skills and evaluating outputs.

Statistics will be taught via a blended approach – online lectures will be followed by workshops.

A Journal Club will discuss and evaluate recent anatomical research.

Assessment Details

This unit will embrace the assessment for learning principle. The outputs detailed in the unit description will be assessed and discussed throughout the unit. For reasons of practicality there will not be a single end of unit assessment and outputs will be assessed throughout the course.

The assessment methods and weightings follow. There are four methods of formative assessment, this will spread throughout TB1 & TB2. For all forms of assessment, feedback sessions will be timetabled.

  • Small study research & grant proposal, to include selection of statistical methods 25%
  • Poster presentation (formative, summative assessed poster in Research Portfolio Unit)
  • Oral presentation 25% (15 minutes)
  • Scientific article* 25% (2000 words)
  • Popular Science article 25% (6-800 words)
  • Outreach Project (must complete)

In the Outreach Project students will be involved in the delivery of one of the many projects run by the Centre. These include Access to Bristol, Schools visits and Workshops at notable events such as the Cheltenham Science Festival. Students will participate in a seminar outlining the purpose of outreach, plan the session with guidance from the CCCA Outreach Officer, attend a briefing in advance of the event and the event itself, typically 2-3hrs.

*If any significant observations are made in the course of the dissection project, the group will be supported in preparing this material for publication in lieu of the Scientific article. In this event an alternate marks scheme will be applied for group work.

Reading and References

Seminar leads will provide reading lists.

For background information see: