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Unit information: Clinical research methods in chronic disease in 2015/16

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 Professor. Gillespie
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will introduce the students to clinical research methodology, evaluative methods, statistical computing and data management. Using musculoskeletal, respiratory and metabolic conditions as disease models, the unit will illustrate qualitative and quantitative research and epidemiological approaches to clinical research. The students will gain an understanding of the clinical aspects of musculoskeletal disease and how “big data” are managed and utilised to generate research outcomes. In the respiratory component, the students will be introduced to imaging and MRI techniques to studying lung disease and how to conduct multi-centre clinical trials. The endocrinology component will emphasize evidence based approaches to quantify risk and classify diabetes as well as provide state-of-the-art overviews of the endocrine conditions from a research perspective.

The unit aims to: (i) Provide students with fundamental knowledge of clinical research methods and essential concepts in research design (ii) Provide students with an understanding of the clinical aspects of musculoskeletal diseases (iii) Introduce students to clinical trial design and research in respiratory disease (iv) Provide students with the knowledge of underlying basis of endocrinology disorders and diabetes

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit the student should be able to: (i) describe the underlying pathogenesis in key disorders involving the musculoskeletal, respiratory and endocrine systems (ii) discuss the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies used to analyse whole populations that result in improved treatment for individual patients (iii) identify the rigorous strategies required to classify diabetes

Teaching Information

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.

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed through two summative examinations in May/June. In the first 1-hour examination (40%), students will be expected to answer a range of multiple-choice questions on the content of the unit. In the second 2-hour examination (60%), students will be expected to answer two essay questions from a choice of 5, which will assess their knowledge and critical understanding of the field, and their ability to gather information from the primary scientific literature.

Reading and References

Selected relevant review papers from the literature