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Unit information: Clinical research methods in chronic disease in 2021/22

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 Dr. Wylde
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. Using musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions as disease models, the unit will illustrate commonly used clinical research methods, including randomised controlled trials, epidemiology studies, systematic reviews and qualitative research. The students will gain an understanding of the clinical aspects of disease and key features of clinical research methodology including research design, ethics, and patient involvement.

The unit aims to: (i) Provide students with fundamental knowledge of key clinical research methods and essential concepts in research design (ii) Provide students with an understanding of the clinical aspects of musculoskeletal and respiratory diseases

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit the student should be able to: (i) describe clinical aspects of disorders involving the musculoskeletal and respiratory systems (ii) discuss the qualitative and quantitative methodologies that can be used in clinical research (iii) demonstrate understanding of the key factors that are crucial in research design (iv) write and present a basic research study proposal

Teaching Information

This unit is taught through lectures, data handling sessions, interactive workshops, tutorials on literature and essay writing (which may be online or face-to-face, where appropriate). Independent study: students are expected to study the recommended literature and read further scientific literature to aid in writing the research proposal.

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed by a summative written research proposal that will be presented orally. The research proposal will be based on a choice of a provided research question. The structure of the research proposal will be provided and will be no more than 3000 words (75%). The student will also create a poster based on the research proposal and discuss this in a short oral presentation to a panel (25%). Formative feedback will be provided for drafts of the research proposal.


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. SOCS30001).

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.