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Unit information: Literary Dissertation in 2021/22

Unit name Literary Dissertation
Unit code BRMS30017
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Wong
Open unit status Not open

Introduction to Health Sciences (SOCS30006)
Laboratory Research Methods (SOCS30002)


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 Clinical Sciences research, as applied to the relevant 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 4000 word (max) dissertation/extended research essay. This is unlikely to include lab work, and will usually be ‘dry’.

Intended Learning Outcomes

An overview of content
Literary Dissertation will be half the size of the standard Research Dissertation unit, and involves students undertaking independent research and preparing an extended research essay that focuses on exploring the clinical science aspects and 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 scientific hypotheses and understand how to test them.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit students will:

(i) have knowledge and understanding of a specific area of clinical sciences (related to the relevant Hacking for NHS problem), including understanding of the scientific literature pertaining to the project and an ability to evaluate this literature critically;
(ii) be able to design and execute a research project;
(iii) have the ability to formulate hypothesis and to critically test theories and concepts;
(iv) have the ability to reason, analyse and interpret data, identify and solve problems, exercise independence of mind, form and defend scientific judgements;
(v) have the ability to disseminate scientific ideas in written format and in oral presentations;
(vi) have developed transferable skills including the ability to communicate with fellow researchers, be self-reliant and organise time effectively, take appropriate decisions when needed, an appropriate level of numeracy and IT skill, and manage a research project.

Teaching Information

Data-based project or non-experimental project work, where appropriate. Specific instruction in experimental techniques and data interpretation/handling, where appropriate, will be given. Project planning and discussion meetings with project supervisors including through face-to face or online meetings. Although carried out under supervision, the projects will require self-direction, motivation and independent thought from students.

Assessment Information

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed via a 4000 (max) word extended research essay and a short oral presentation, which focus on the clinical science aspects/implications 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):

• Interim project proposal
• Feedback on draft dissertation
• One to one supervision with supervisor

Tasks which count towards your unit mark (summative):

• 4000 (max) word extended research essay and a short oral presentation, which focus on the clinical science aspects/implications of the problem you engage with on the co-requisite hacking for NHS Unit.

When assessment does not go to plan
• If the assessment is failed, 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. BRMS30017).

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.