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

Postgraduate Course: Reproductive Tract Cancers (BIME11190)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course aims to provide an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the origins and biology of cancers of the reproductive tract (including breast, ovarian and prostate) and an appreciation of the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and treatment. The course will provide insight into the most recent advances in screening, diagnostics and treatment including individualised therapy and implications for fertility.
The course will also develop understanding of the latest research approaches and methods including technologies such as sequencing, experimental models, drug development, biomarker discovery and clinical trials.
Course description This SCQF Level 11 distance-learning course is designed to promote a deep understanding of reproductive cancers through 3 key learning objectives:

(i) Understanding reproductive cancer development at a cellular and molecular level
(ii) Focusing on reproductive cancers the course will cover screening, cancer diagnosis, treatment including individualised therapies and impact on fertility
(iii) Research including methods and approaches, cancer models, sequencing, drug discovery and testing, biomarker development and companion diagnostics and clinical trials.

The course will be delivered using the online Blackboard virtual learning environment with a combination of course materials, discussion boards and blogs.

Course materials will cover

Reproductive cancers:
a. The clinical journey - how cancer is diagnosed and treated in the clinic
b. Screening programmes for cancers debate
c. Treatment options - how they were developed, how they work and when they are used
d. The goal of individualise treatment
e. The impact of cancer and treatment on fertility

Cancer research
a. Basic research methods used in analysis of cancer of the reproductive tracts
b. Drug discovery approaches and case discussions
c. Biomarker development and companion diagnostics
d. Ongoing clinical trials

Lectures will be delivered by world leading experts from Edinburgh and around the world.

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 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 08/08/2022
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 25, Online Activities 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 48 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) In-course assessment -100%

Written - 2 pieces of short work 70%
Online 30%

Written ICA examples (70%):
- Students will select 1 from a series of 4 essay topics and write a short discursive essay. For example genetic screening. Students will have to call on the taught material and their own learning, pick a side of the argument or balanced position and justify their answers.
- Students will be given a grant proposal and some relevant scientific papers and be asked to write a short critique.

Online ICA example (30%):
- Students discuss specific questions relevant to the weekly lectures - posed and facilitated by the Course Team - via an asynchronous discussion board.
Feedback Formative feedback will be available to students for both forms of assessment.

An open discussion forum (visible to all students on the course) will be available for each assignment where students can ask questions about what is required of them. They can check they have interpreted the assignment brief correctly and seek guidance on whether their general ideas are appropriate before they complete and submit their work.

Extensive summative feedback will be given for both assignments. The written assignment will be marked up directly in Grademark and additional summary feedback provided. Feedback for the online assignment will be in the form of general comments on the level of engagement, content and quality of postings.

In both cases, feedback will clearly identify both positives and areas for improvement.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of reproductive cancer development, growth and metastasis and the biology which underlies these processes
  2. Understand how reproductive cancers are diagnosed and treated and gain an appreciation of the challenges and complexities related to each of these
  3. Gain an understanding of the approaches used to further our understanding of reproductive cancer and how research studies lead to changed practice and improved outcomes in patients.
  4. Develop the ability to critically appraise research studies
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The graduate will acquire skills in critical thinking, independent learning, communication, data analysis and scientific writing skills.
KeywordsCancer biology,reproductive cancers,cancer research,oncology,medicine,breast cancer,ovarian
Course organiserMr Arran Turnbull
Tel: (0131 6)51 8694
Course secretaryMs Deborah Walker
Tel: (0131 6)51 1513
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