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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Undergraduate Course: Bioethics, Law and Social Science: Foundations of Knowledge (BIME10068)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course 'Foundations of Knowledge' will equip students with a comprehensive understanding of research design, methodologies and skills in relation to bioethics, law and social science. Using a range of teaching and learning methods, students will explore the nature of knowledge from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. They will develop an understanding of how different methodologies from bioethics, law and social science can be used to generate knowledge, and how to critically evaluate and interpret research methods and the evidence they produce.
As part of the course, students will develop a detailed proposal, including methodological considerations, for a piece of research. This may be used as a foundation for planning the research project in Semester 2.
This course is only open to students on the BMedSci Bioethics, Law and Society programme.
Course description The course will cover bioethical, legal and social science approaches to the generation, evaluation and interpretation of knowledge. Through exploring different forms of research and evidence, students will gain critical understandings of a range of disciplinary epistemologies and approaches to knowledge and evidence; disciplinary and interdisciplinary research methodologies; the construction of knowledge in different academic disciplines and outside the academic sphere; and the ethics of research and knowledge. They will develop the ability to frame relevant research questions; the knowledge of appropriate research methodologies to address these; an understanding of how to evaluate and interpret the evidence generated; and an ability to critically analyse and synthesise different forms of evidence.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  12
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 30, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) In course assessment:«br /»
Critical paper responses (1 page), 20% «br /»
Journal club presentation (20 minutes) 20% «br /»
Research proposal (3000 words), 60% «br /»
Oral presentation of research proposal (5 minutes), formative feedback% «br /»
Feedback Students will have opportunities to receive formative feedback both formally and informally throughout the programme, including via class discussion and journal-club presentations. Student-led sessions will develop their abilities to give and receive constructive feedback and provide a further formative feedback opportunity.

For the final assessment for the course, students will produce a detailed proposal, demonstrating understanding of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research design and methodologies. They will receive formative feedback on this via one-on-one consultation with course tutors.

Students will receive summative feedback on all assessed work.

We will also actively facilitate students giving feedback to course tutors, again both informally via class discussions and one-on-one consultations, and formally via an end-of-course evaluation.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. gain the ability to critically assess, evaluate and interpret different forms of evidence, including published research in bioethics, law and social science
  2. acquire discipline-specific knowledge of theoretical concepts and practical methodologies from bioethics, law and social science
  3. understand discipline-related differences between normative, descriptive and empirical approaches to knowledge-generation, and be able to apply these appropriately to address new problems
  4. develop an understanding of how to frame research questions and design studies within and across the disciplines of bioethics, law and social science, in order to generate relevant knowledge
  5. produce a well-developed proposal for research in relation to a specific topic, that can be used to inform future investigations
Learning Resources
University library
Online biomedical and bioethical databases and other resources available through University library (e.g., PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, Philosopher's Index)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills After completion of this module, students will be able to:

SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 1 (Knowledge and understanding)
* Demonstrate knowledge of the main approaches and methodologies underlying research in the disciplines of bioethics, law and social science
* Work with a critical understanding of different approaches to knowledge generation in bioethics, law and social sciences in order to evaluate and interpret evidence
* Demonstrate specialist knowledge of research design and

methodologies in relation to research on specific topics

SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 2 (Practice)
* Demonstrate the ability to apply a critical understanding of research design and approaches to knowledge-generation in order to evaluate and interpret different forms of evidence, including published research in bioethics, law and social sciences
* Draw on knowledge and understandings of bioethical, law and social science research approaches to identify and frame appropriate research questions in relation to ethical, legal and social aspects of health and biomedicine
* Apply specialised knowledge of research design and methodologies in order to design a specific piece of research that addresses a current problem in health or biomedicine from one or more disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives drawn from bioethics, law and social science

SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 3 (Generic cognitive skills)
* Critically analyse and integrate information from a range of sources to inform professional judgment and decisionmaking
* Identify, define and analyse complex ethical issues arising in professional clinical practice and beyond
* Demonstrate independent thinking and analytical skills in dealing with new problems

SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 4
* Discuss and critically evaluate the work of others
* Present, formally and informally, information about specialised topics to informed audiences
* Communicate appropriately and sensitively to a range of audiences, including peers, senior colleagues, specialists, patients and publics, on issues including clinical ethical decision-making

SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 5
* Exercise autonomy and initiative and take responsibility, in relation to both self-study activities and working with others
* Work with others to develop new knowledge and bring about change in thinking
* Take and apply learning and insights from this course to their career development as health care professionals and beyond

KeywordsEthics,bioethics,law,social science,sociology,biomedicine,research,health
Course organiserDr Ingrid Young
Tel: (0131 6)50 3243
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Allan
Tel: (0131 6)51 1514
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