Skip to main content

Unit information: Research Project in Health Sciences in 2021/22

Unit name Research Project in Health Sciences
Unit code MEDIM0015
Credit points 120
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Holmes
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 120 out of a total of 180 credits for this programme), followed by the writing of a dissertation in the form of a thesis (10,000 +/- 500 words), a viva and an oral presentation. The project will apply the knowledge and skills introduced and developed in Unit 1 - Introduction to Research; Unit 2 - Further Research Methods; Unit 3 - Project Proposal and Unit 4 - Research Club. Students will design and conduct experiments as outlined in their Project Proposal (Unit 3). 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, viva and oral presentation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  • (i) Design and execute experiments.
  • (ii) Analyse, interpret and critically evaluate their own scientific data.
  • (iii) Appraise competing hypotheses and understand how their own data fits within current scientific understandings or beliefs.
  • (iv) Communicate original findings and ideas to a specialist audience using written and verbal presentation skills.
  • (v) Apply transferable skills learned in Units 1-4: Computer skills; experimental/ research methods; time management; organisation; effective team and independent work.

Teaching Information

Independent research with theoretical and practical supervision from the primary Project Supervisor and day-to-day supervisor which may be online or face-to-face, where appropriate.

Assessment Information

Students will work on an independent research project for the majority of this programme, devised following consultation with a PI with expertise in the students' area of interest. Students will write-up their research in the form of a thesis (10,000 +/- 500 words) which will account for 70% of summative assessment for this unit). Students will discuss the proposed content with supervisors, and provide a written outline for feedback and approval, before writing of the thesis begins. The equivalent of one complete draft only can be submitted and commented on by the supervisor. The thesis will be independently assessed by the supervisor and one other member of academic staff with the relevant background knowledge (but who has not been directly involved with the project). This will assess learning outcomes (i) to (v). Students will have a viva (25% of summative assessment) conducted by an appropriately composed panel. Students will receive training on presenting at the viva. This will assess learning outcomes (ii) to (v). Students must pass the viva component of the unit (i.e. with a mark of at least 50%) to pass the unit overall. Students will also present a 10 min talk (5% of summative assessment) summarising their research and be expected to answer questions pertaining to it. This will assessed by the Programme Directors. This will primarily assess learning outcome (iv). Prior to the summative assessments, students will have the opportunity to present their projects and have a practice viva for formative verbal feedback from the Programme Directors during 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. MEDIM0015).

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.