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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Public Health Research

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Research Ethics (PUHR11030)

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) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course will look at the ethical requirements for undertaking public health research: epidemiological, experimental and qualitative research. It will also consider the basic principles of good scholarship common to all fields of public health research. The areas to be considered will include issues of ethics and governance and basic ethical principles.
Course description This five week course will provide an introduction to research ethics relevant to public health research. Ensuring ethically robust research is fundamental to public health and involves us all, demanding high standards of research integrity. The course will introduce students to different approaches to ethics and the implications of these for addressing research ethics throughout the research process. The course will also focus on issues of research governance and ethical review processes. The course will consider different kinds of public health research (qualitative research, epidemiological studies, clinical trials and other types of study as appropriate). A mix of (guest) lectures, class discussions/exercises and online discussion will be used. Students are encouraged to support their learning through reading, reflection, and writing.

Building up critical reflection and writing skills is a key component of the course. To this end, students are asked to write an essay and to participate in online discussions with each other. Both of these activities will contribute to the mark for this course. The online discussions are both formative (aiding students┐ learning throughout the course) and summative (assessing students┐ understanding of course material); they will be to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses in writing and to become more confident in writing academically, and to enable them to assess their understanding of the course material. The discussions and the feedback provided by peers and the tutor will help to build up essay writing skills in the light of the final essay for this course as well as any future academic endeavours.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 1 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 6, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Online Activities 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment for this course consists of two elements:

1) 20% of the grade: An online discussion in week 3 and 5 (before the lecture takes place) in which every student is asked to prepare one post to one of three questions as well as two replies to other students. Your post and your replies will be assessed by the tutor, and feedback to your posts will be posted online. Criteria for assessing these online posts can be found on Learn, where the possible questions for the two online discussion events can be found as well.

2) 80% of the grade: A 2,500 word essay assignment. You will need to search out literature yourself to prepare for your assignment in addition to drawing on the material we cover in class.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify the ethical issues that may arise when undertaking different types of research in Public Health and assess critically the published literature.
  2. Appreciate the principles of good scholarship in the context of public health research.
  3. Develop an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different qualitative methods, the links between them and how they can be employed to undertake research in Public Health.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsResearch Ethics,public health,qualitative research,ethics
Course organiserDr Sarah Chan
Tel: (0131 6)51 7882
Course secretaryMr Stuart Mallen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3227
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