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Unit information: Research Project Unit in 2021/22

Unit name Research Project Unit
Unit code BRMSM0024
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Andy Judge
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The research project runs alongside the 5 other units (Clinical Units 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the research skills unit). It acts as a focus for programme level assessment, enabling candidates to show that they can employ the skills learnt in the other components of the programme to produce a quality piece of academic writing. In obliging the research projects to take the form of either a systematic review of a clinical problem or technique explored during the clinical elements, or a novel piece of work using data that candidates collect from their clinical practice, the clinical flavour of the programme is preserved and the relevance of the programme to a candidate’s career aspirations are clear. The research project will have a clinical supervisor and an academic supervisor who must be a substantive employee of the University of Bristol Lecturer/Fellow level or above. Allocation of supervisors will be self-directed by the candidate with assistance by the Unit Lead for research projects where required. A list of potential supervisors, with associated project title suggestions will be made available through online portals.

Intended Learning Outcomes

To be awarded the credits for the research project, candidates must show that they have:

  • Created a systematic review examining the existing literature, diagnosis and therapy and future direction of research of a clinical problem -OR- Created a piece of original research using new or existing data comprising an introduction reviewing relevant existing literature, a method (including statistical analysis techniques), results and a conclusion.
  • Created a sound research question using the PICO format.
  • Created and reflected upon a study protocol describing the steps required to produce an academically robust piece of work.
  • Understood and applied a comprehensive literature search to identify relevant published literature.
  • Evaluated and critically appraised the identified literature and described the results in an academic manner showing analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
  • Applied the relevant study design or method of systematic review relevant to the study question and study protocol.
  • Created and employed a custom data collection tool.
  • Applied relevant statistical techniques, including meta-analysis where applicable, to interpret data.
  • Create a manuscript that reflects the conduct of a piece of academic work that is consistent with the principles of integrity and comprehensive subject knowledge and demonstrates high quality written communication skills to a clinical academic audience.

Teaching Information

There is no formal didactic teaching within this unit, through the teaching delivered as part of the research skills unit will inform this project. The research project will require two supervisors (one clinical, one academic). The candidate will be required to meet these tutors regularly throughout the creation of their project for guidance and to offer specific advice. At a minimum student should meet their tutors every 6 months face to face, and every 8 weeks via an online method. The frequency of additional meetings will be determined by the performance of the candidate and the support that individual candidates require. Further contact hours will be made available with the programme directors and specific academic staff when required for specific advice at the candidate's request. Candidates who are experiencing difficulty should be identified through supervisor or personal tutor meetings and additional support will be available via the programme directors if required. Supervisor meetings and action points should be recorded in the candidate's reflective diaries.

Assessment Information

Candidates will be required to select a topic of study applicable to their future career, of relevance to their clinical practice and of adequate complexity to provide the opportunity for in depth study. The research project should be a maximum of 4000 words including the abstract, body of the text and references and should comply with the instructions for authors in The Bone and Joint Journal. The study must feature techniques of inquiry such as meta-analysis or qualitative methods according to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) level 7. The originality and the scope of techniques used will form the basis of assigning a grade to the work, similar to existing Masters programmes within the School of Clinical Sciences. The work will be marked using the University generic marking criteria (Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes). The project will be submitted no later than 20 months following matriculation, with the precise date of submission calculated on the candidate's commencement on the programme.

The research dissertation represents 100% of the 60 credits available in this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BRMSM0024).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.