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Unit information: Methods, Communication and Translation in 2020/21

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 Dr. Scott Paterson
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

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. For reasons of practicality there will not be a single end of unit assessment and outputs will be assessed throughout the course.

There are two summative assessments scheduled across TB1 and TB2.For all forms of assessment, feedback sessions will be timetabled.

  • Project review essay (50%)
  • Web based teaching resource (50%)

Reading and References

Seminar leads will provide reading lists.

For background information see: