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Unit information: Clinical research methods in chronic disease 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 Clinical research methods in chronic disease
Unit code SOCS30001
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Wylde
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This unit will introduce the students to clinical research methodology. Using musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions as disease models, the unit will illustrate commonly used clinical research methods, including randomised controlled trials, epidemiology studies, systematic reviews and qualitative research. The students will gain an understanding of the clinical aspects of disease and key features of clinical research methodology including research design, ethics, and patient involvement.

The unit aims to: (i) Provide students with fundamental knowledge of key clinical research methods and essential concepts in research design (ii) Provide students with an understanding of the clinical aspects of musculoskeletal and respiratory diseases.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this unit the student should be able to: (i) describe clinical aspects of disorders involving the musculoskeletal and respiratory systems (ii) discuss the qualitative and quantitative methodologies that can be used in clinical research (iii) demonstrate understanding of the key factors that are crucial in research design (iv) write and present a basic research study proposal

Teaching details

This unit is taught through lectures, data handling sessions, interactive workshops, tutorials on literature and essay writing. Independent study: students are expected to study the recommended literature and read further scientific literature to aid in writing the research proposal.

Assessment Details

The unit will be assessed by a summative written research proposal that will be presented orally. The research proposal will be based on a choice of a provided research question. The structure of the research proposal will be provided and will be no more than 3000 words (75%). The student will also create a poster based on the research proposal and discuss this in a short oral presentation to a panel (25%). Formative feedback will be provided for drafts of the research proposal and poster.

Reading and References

Selected relevant review papers from the literature