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Unit information: Unit 1, Clinical Research Project in 2015/16

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Unit name Unit 1, Clinical Research Project
Unit code VETSM0048
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Sorrel Langley-Hobbs
Open unit status Not open



This research unit will be run concurrently with the clinical skills units so data collection can be done while the student is on clinics.

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit equips students with the knowledge and skills to initiate and complete high quality, methodologically sound and ethical clinical research, during their three year senior clinical training scholarship. They will design a project, collect data, analyse it and present it for assessment in both written, poster and oral form.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. Clinical research methodology
  2. Finding, reading and critiquing scientific literature
  3. Learn information technology skills
  4. Presenting and communicating (written and orally) scientific research
  5. Statistical analysis of clinical or laboratory data
  6. Ability to communicate clearly to both scientific and non-scientific personnel
  7. Develop presentation skills including use of technology
  8. Show good time management and organisational skills
  9. Planning and prioritisation

Teaching Information

Intensive seminars and discussion groups given over an introductory one week period

Podcasts and recorded lectures (on mediasite) made available for review.

Students will have regular teaching sessions with supervisors and other senior clinicians in their subject area to critique and reflect on and discuss the project and its implementation and progress, with trouble-shooting and alterations made as necessary.

Contact hours:

Direct contact 20 hours lectures / seminars

Direct contact with supervisor 20 hours (30 mins / week) over one year

Breakdown of notional total student input (To include number of contact hours, independent learning, assessment, other activities)

  • 20 direct contact hours taught element
  • 80 hours Independent learning and project design
  • 20 hours project proposal write up and presentation
  • 60 hours direct contact with supervisor
  • 300 hours project implementation, data collection and independent learning,
  • 40 hours data analysis and statistics,
  • 40 hours write up,
  • 20 hours to prepare and present an oral presentation
  • 20 hours to prepare and present a poster
  • 600 hours total

Assessment Information

The unit will be subdivided into Clinical Research project A, B and C

Part A

  • Students will be initially assessed on a written project proposal, including a hypothesis, literature search, materials and methods, statistical tests. Students will be allowed one resubmission of the project if required. Learning outcomes assessed - 1,2,4,5,7
  • Students will be assessed in a formative manner on a six monthly basis on progression of the project, data collection, write up, trouble shooting, any need to change the protocol. Learning outcomes assessed – 4,6,8,9
  • Written assessment - prepared as a paper for submission to a peer reviewed journal. The word count will be dependant upon the journal that this will be ultimately be submitted to but will be in the region of 3 - 6000 words, with a summary, introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion section. This will be examined by internal and external examiners. Students will be allowed to resubmit the written work once for remarking if it is deemed unsatisfactory by the examiners. Learning outcomes assessed - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
  • Poster – the project will be prepared and printed as a poster which will be presented to peers in an informal manner with question and answer sessions. The poster will be assessed according to content and appearance and the students’ ability to answer questions pertaining to the subject. Unsatisfactory performance will require a repeat presentation and / or redoing of the poster. Learning outcomes assessed - 3,4,6
  • Oral assessment - the project will be presented in a fifteen minute power point presentation with five minutes for questions. Students will be given one opportunity to represent if the initial presentation is not considered satisfactory by the examiners. Learning outcomes assessed - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
  • All of the above tasks need to be completed and ultimately passed for the student to pass this unit.

Reading and References

Writing Your Dissertation: The bestselling guide to planning, preparing and presenting first-class work (The How to Series) Derek Swetnam, Ruth Swetnam 2000

Writing and presenting scientific papers 2nd edition. Birgitta Malmfors, Phil Garnsworthy, Michael Grossman. Nottingham University Press 2003

Good Clinical Practice - The VICH Guideline for Clinical Studies in Veterinary Medicinal Products An Investigators Handbook.

Designing Clinical research - An epidemiologic approach Second Edition