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Unit information: Bioethics Dissertation (H4NHS option) in 2021/22

Unit name Bioethics Dissertation (H4NHS option)
Unit code BRMS30016
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Deans
Open unit status Not open

Introduction to Bioethics
Introduction to Medical Law

Other TB2 units will be undertaken at the same time.


Hacking for NHS

School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This Unit will only be undertaken by those students choosing to undertake the Hacking for NHS Unit, for which it is co-requisite.

This unit provides students with the opportunity to engage in supervised in-depth study and apply the skills and knowledge obtained in TB1 and other TB2 units. In this Unit students will demonstrate core skills in Bioethics research, in-particular ethical and/legal analysis and writing, as applied to the bioethical issues raised by the NHS challenge students engage with in the Hacking for Health Unit.

It is undertaken in teaching Block 2, with preparation of a final 6000 word dissertation/extended research essay.

Intended Learning Outcomes

An overview of content
Dissertation (2) will be of reduced size of the standard dissertation unit, and involves students undertaking independent research and preparing an extended research essay that focuses on exploring the bioethical implications of the challenges that they explore in the co-requisite Hacking for NHS unit

How will students, personally, be different as a result of the unit
Students will have developed and utilised skills in independent research, critical analysis, and writing, and will have developed into more independent learners with the ability to develop and communicate a sustained argument.

Learning outcomes:

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

•Identify types of research in bioethics (e.g. literature review, survey, qualitative research)
•Use literature databases
•Develop and conduct independent literature-based research
•Summarise this research and reach reasoned and independent conclusions
•Effectively present their work to a group
•Construct and effectively convey a sound and sustained argument

Teaching Information

Students receive a mixture of in-person and online (e.g. audio/visual) seminars (as appropriate) led by staff members, which introduce key skills in bioethics writing, research and presentation, and which specifically prepare students for completing a dissertation. Students thereafter lead further seminars, in which they individually present their research into their chosen dissertation topic. Students are also required to attend a research seminar series (which may be in-person or online), of approximately 20 presentations, led by staff members and invited outside speakers. The seminars and presentation run throughout teaching blocks 1 and 2, with preparation of the dissertation concluding in teaching block 3. Students also receive individual support from an advisor, who helps with planning and research, and provides feedback on parts of the work. Supervision may be in person, online, or over the phone.

Assessment Information

How you will be assessed (currently called Assessment Information)

You will be assessed via a 6000 word extended research essay that focusses on the bioethics aspects of the problem you engage with on the co-requisite hacking for NHS Unit.

Tasks which help you learn and prepare you for summative tasks (formative):

• In-person and online (e.g. audio/visual) seminars (as appropriate) led by staff members.
• Research presentations
• Attendance at research seminar talks
• One to one supervision with supervisor
• Submission of dissertation plan and literature review (with feedback from tutor)
• All learning and assessment undertaken in other TB1 & TB2 Units

Tasks which count towards your unit mark (summative):

• 6000 word extended research essay that focusses on the bioethics aspects of the problem you engage with on the co-requisite hacking for NHS Unit.

When assessment does not go to plan
• If the student fails the assessment, a resit may be permitted by the exam board in qualifying circumstances


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. BRMS30016).

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.