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Unit information: Research Project in Health Sciences (Hacking for NHS option) in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Research Project in Health Sciences (Hacking for NHS option)
Unit code BRMSM0052
Credit points 100
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Holmes
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)

Hacking for Health

Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Unit Information

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

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. In this Unit students will develop and demonstrate core skills in Health Services Research.

Your learning on this unit

An overview of content

The research project consists of an extended period of research work (constituting 100 out of a total of 180 credits) followed by the writing of a dissertation in the form of a thesis, an oral presentation and viva. 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 abstracts, 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.

How will students, personally, be different as a result of the unit

Student will be able to plan and carry out independent research, and defend their ideas to fellow scholars.

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.

How you will learn

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.

How you will be assessed

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

• 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 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.

Tasks which count towards your unit mark (summative):

• Students will write-up their research in the form of a thesis (10,000 words maximum) which will account for 70% of summative assessment for this unit. This will assess learning outcomes (i) to (v). 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).
• Students will have a viva (25% of summative assessment) conducted by an appropriately composed panel. 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).

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. BRMSM0052).

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.