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Unit information: Renal Research Project in 2021/22

Unit name Renal Research Project
Unit code BRMSM0029
Credit points 100
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Becky Foster
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The research project consists of an extended period of research work (constituting 100 out of a total of 180 credits for this programme), followed by the writing of a dissertation in the form of a thesis, and oral presentation, and a poster presentation followed by a viva. The research project will apply the knowledge and skills introduced and developed in the MRes HSR Unit 1 - Introduction to Research; Unit 2 - Further Research Methods; Unit 3 – Research Club and Unit 4 – Introduction to Renal Sciences.

Students will conduct research in the field of cardiovascular science. Students will (collect), analyse, interpret and critically assess their results. They will write-up their findings in a thesis which will include an abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion (in which they will integrate new information into current scientific knowledge), and references. Students will present and defend their ideas and conclusions through written and spoken communication in their thesis, oral presentation and viva.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By completion of this unit the students should be able to:

1. Design and execute experiments / research.

2. Analyse, interpret and critically evaluate their own scientific data.

3. Appraise competing hypotheses and understand how their own data fits within current scientific understanding or beliefs.

4. Communicate original findings and ideas to a specialist audience using written and verbal presentation skills.

5. Apply knowledge and transferable skills learned in MRes HSR Unit 1 - Introduction to Research; Unit 2 - Further Research Methods; Unit 3 – Research Club and Unit 4 – Introduction to Renal Sciences. These include: subject-specific knowledge; computer skills; experimental / research methodology; time management; organisation; effective team and independent work.

Teaching Information

Independent research in the laboratory where possible with theoretical and practical supervision from the Project Supervisor and designated second 'day-to-day' supervisor.

Guidance in the form of tutorials from Unit Lead and Programme Directors.

Assessment Information

Students will work on an independent research project for 6 months, devised following consultation with a PI with expertise in the field of translational cardiovascular science. Students will write-up their research in the form of a thesis (10,000 +/- 500 words). This will account for 70% of the summative assessment for this unit. Students will discuss the proposed content with supervisors, and provide a written outline for formative feedback and approval, before writing of the thesis begins. The equivalent of one complete draft can be submitted to the supervisor for formative feedback once only. The thesis will be independently assessed by the supervisor and one other member of academic staff with the relevant background knowledge (but who had not been directly involved with the project). This will assess leaning outcomes 1-5. Students will present a 10 minute talk summarising their research and be expected to answer questions pertaining to it. Verbal formative feedback will be given to a practice talk during the unit. The final talk accounts for 5% of the summative assessment and will primarily assess learning outcome 4. Students will have a viva conducted after a poster presentation of their work. This accounts for 25% of the summative assessment for this unit and students are expected to pass with a mark of at least 50% to pass the unit overall. This will assess learning outcomes 1-5. The final viva will be conducted by an appropriate panel of academic staff, including a Programme Director. Students will be offered a practice viva with formative verbal feedback during the course of the 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. BRMSM0029).

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.