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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Molecular and Clinical Medicine

Postgraduate Course: MScCT Dissertation (MCLM11026)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryOn the MSc in Clinical Trials (ODL) dissertation course you will be working independently on an extended piece of writing which is original and presents new research within it in the form of a sustained argument. The dissertation marks the final stage of your Masters degree and demonstrates that over the course of the programme you have gained the skills and knowledge required to engage in the formal and rigorous process of research. This process entails, but is not restricted to, identifying a suitable research topic, formulating research objectives, organising/analysing data, organising and reviewing relevant literature, devising an appropriate research methodology, reporting results, drawing conclusions and possibly even making relevant recommendations to the wider research community.
Course description The dissertation is worth 60 credits [at Scottish credit and qualifications framework (SCQF) level 11]. While you will be supported by an academic supervisor, it must be emphasised that the dissertation is entirely your own work. The dissertation gives you the chance to pursue a topic in-depth and to develop research and independent enquiry skills. From the outset you will be reading articles from relevant journals, and can expect to spend considerable time on the library¿s databases searching for suitable material. The dissertation course aims to maintain opportunities to develop a robust understanding of the processes and skills required to undertake a supervised research project at Masters level of study, and to write this up in a final formal document which you will be able to use to demonstrate your ability as a researcher to current or future employers or academic organisations.
Learning and teaching approach
As an online distance learning programme the dissertation course supports the MSc candidate with a dedicated virtual learning environment including online tools such as informal and formal asynchronous discussion boards, an e-portfolio, and electronic dropboxes. Supervisor support can take on many forms and may be provided face-to-face, or remotely, via telephony, e-mail, or telephone, for example, to best meet individual support needs. Whenever possible supplementary (optional) online tutorials and expert guest lectures will also feature utilising a synchronous web conferencing system. MSc candidates will have the opportunity to consult their dedicated dissertation supervisor for support at regular, timetabled intervals.
The specific interests of the individual inform and drive the learning process from the outset, starting with the identification and exploration of a suitable research area (chosen by the candidate or presented as an in-house research option). The MSc candidate is then required to undertake a thorough literature review before finally developing and presenting a robust research plan (the research proposal) that is relevant, theoretically sound, and justifiable in terms of planned approach. Once the proposal has been presented and is approved the formal research process begins. Key milestones are laid out in the ¿MSc in Clinical Trials Dissertation Guidelines¿.
- Provide research opportunities and supervisory support for candidates to develop robust research skills including a practical understanding of research methodologies and processes in a clinical trials context
- Further develop academic writing and independent enquiry skills
- Identify a research theme commensurate with the aim and focus of the MSc in Clinical Trials programme
- Provide support and guidance to candidates in the authorship of a coherent and logically argued piece of writing that demonstrates competence in research and the ability to operate independently
- highlight issues of research design, methodology, ethics and theoretical arguments, and apply these to original research
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Online Activities 60, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 40, Summative Assessment Hours 20, Revision Session Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 408 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The dissertation is assessed on the basis of the content of the following submitted documents:«br /»
- Project proposal including online presentation (1,500 words) weighted at 10 %«br /»
- Dissertation (12,500 words) weighted at 80 %«br /»
- Reflective writing piece (1,500 words) weighted at 10 %«br /»
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Formulate, justify and defend robust and focused research question(s)
  2. Critically analyse literature and practice relevant to the research question
  3. Address ethical and research governance issues appropriately
  4. Argue the choice of method[s] used in addressing the research question
  5. Evaluate own research data and findings and synthesise with existing literature and practice
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Within the work to be undertaken, this course will provide the MSc candidate with the opportunity to develop or further develop the following key graduate attributes:

- In-depth knowledge of specialist discipline
- Develop new understanding by exercising critical judgment and challenging knowledge
- Be a self-directed and curious learner
- Solve problems effectively taking ethical, professional and environmental issues into account
- Use information responsibly in a range of contexts
- Engage in reflective practice and self-development
- Collaborate with others, capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills
- Communicate (written, oral, online) effectively respectful of social and cultural diversity
- Application of numeracy
- Application of IT
Keywordsclinical trials,study design,trials management
Course organiserMiss Michelle Evans
Tel: (0131 6)51 5440.
Course secretaryMrs Elspeth Currie
Tel: (0131 6)50 9242
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