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

Undergraduate Course: Bioethics, Law and Society: Research project (BIME10069)

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 Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryStudents will carry out a 12-week research project on a selected topic examining ethical, legal and / or social aspects of health and biomedicine, with the supervision of one or more members of University academic staff. The research will draw on methodologies from bioethics, medical law and social science as appropriate to the topic, and may involve primary data collection, analysis and interpretation of new or previously generated and collected data, library-based and other documentary research, as required to address the research question.

This course is only open to students on the BMedSci Bioethics, Law and Society programme
Course description All students on the Intercalated BMedSci Honours programme in Bioethics, Law and Society will carry out a 12-week research project in Semester 2. Projects will be supervised by University of Edinburgh academic staff. Students will be encouraged to identify and develop project topics in an area of their own interest, and will have the opportunity to meet and discuss with potential supervisors during Semester 1 to support this process. A list of suggested titles will also be available via the Biomedical Sciences portal system.

It is expected that as part of the core course 'Foundations of Knowledge', students will develop a research proposal that relates (though is not necessarily identical to) their planned project topic, to allow continuity in subject matter over the year. Formative and summative feedback from this course unit may also inform the design and development of the research project.

Topics addressed will vary from year to year depending on which projects and supervisors are available. However, it is anticipated that students cover the following general aspects of study design and conduct during the research project:
1. Undertake a literature review to increase knowledge and understanding of the research area
2. Develop and refine the hypothesis or research question
3. Design the research protocol including a plan of data analysis
4. Conduct the research project
5. Write a research dissertation to the standard of an academic publication
6. Present the findings and conclusions of the research project to course supervisors and colleagues

Students are expected to be self motivated and engaged with the chosen project and work.

It is anticipated that students will be engaged in work that is achievable within the 12-week time frame. This may require secondary use of existing data or conducting a library and documentary research based project. Projects involving empirical primary data collection will be feasible if the relevant approvals have already been organised by the supervisor, or if there is early engagement of the student at the start of semester 1.
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:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 12, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 370 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Research project report (87.5%)«br /»
Oral presentation of research project to peers and research supervisors (12.5%)«br /»
Feedback Students will receive feedback on project progress during weekly face-to-face supervision meetings with supervisors. Supervisors will also give feedback on a draft of the dissertation.

In addition, students will receive verbal and written feedback following oral presentations.

A written assessment of the research project and a mark will be provided for each project.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. gain specialist knowledge of a selected topic related to ethical, legal and social aspects of health and biomedicine, and an understanding of the research methodologies used to generate this knowledge
  2. develop the skills and understanding necessary to apply appropriate research methodologies from the disciplines of bioethics, law and / or social science in order to address a defined research question
  3. gain the ability to obtain relevant information from a range of sources and critically evaluate and analyse this in pursuit of a defined goal
  4. gain experience in communicating research to different audiences, including via oral presentation and a formal dissertation report that integrates the project findings with those of other researchers in the field and outlines how future work may address outstanding issues
  5. enhance personal qualities important to the conduct of academic research including intellectual autonomy, self-directed learning, time and project management, and oral and written presentation skills
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)
Specific reading and learning resources will be discussed with the project supervisor(s) once the project has been allocated.
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 specialised knowledge in relation to ethical, legal and / or social aspects of a selected topic in health and biomedicine
* Work with a critical understanding of research approaches and methodologies from bioethics, law and social science, based on first-hand experience
* Demonstrate an understanding of interdisciplinary research approaches and the wider context of humanities and social science research in relation to health and biomedicine

SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 2 (Practice)
* Draw on specialised knowledge and an understanding of research approaches and methodologies drawn from bioethics, law and social science, in order to identify important knowledge gaps within a defined area, frame a research question to address these, and design and execute a research project
* Apply critical understandings of bioethical, legal and social dimensions of health and biomedicine to analyse and synthesise information in order to generate new knowledge in these fields
* Draw together and present original research findings in bioethical, legal and social studies of health and biomedicine appropriately to a range of audiences

SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 3 (Generic cognitive skills)
* Identify, define and analyse complex ethical, legal and social issues arising in relation to health and biomedicine
* Critically review and consolidate knowledge in the field of bioethics, law and social science
* Demonstrate independent thinking and analytical skills in addressing the defined research question, and originality and creativity in addressing new issues and challenges encountered during the research process

SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 4
* Discuss and critically evaluate the work of others
* Present, formally and informally, new information from research findings on a specialised topic to informed audiences
* Communicate appropriately and sensitively to a range of audiences, including peers, senior colleagues, specialists, patients and publics, on issues in health and biomedicine
* Use ICT applications to support the conduct and presentation of research as appropriate

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
Keywordsbioethics,law,social science,sociology,STS,research,project
Course organiserDr Nayha Sethi
Tel: (0131 6)51 4267
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Allan
Tel: (0131 6)51 1514
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