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

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (Cancer Biology and Precision Oncology) (BIME11191)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical 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
SummaryA dissertation will be undertaken after successful completion of 120 credits and would involve the planning, execution, and reporting of a significant project. The project may be a piece of original research (lab, translational, or clinical), and extensive audit or quality improvement project, or a systematic review.
Course description 1) Academic description
Students will be asked to research and write a reflective element (10-15,000 words). This may report a piece of original research (lab, translational or clinical), an extensive audit or quality improvement project, a systematic review, or meta-analysis. The subject matter must be relevant to the area of cancer research and we would envisage that it would have both a molecular and translational focus. Before beginning, a detailed assignment proposal must be submitted and approved by the candidate's supervisor, and the organising team.

2)Outline Content
The dissertation would consolidate the knowledge and understanding gained from the first two years/120 credits of study. In providing an opportunity to study a topic in depth, the dissertation would develop further the ability to analyse published evidence and apply the findings of laboratory cancer research to clinical practice.

3) Student learning experience
This feature will require a high level of commitment and application from the candidate and provides a valuable exercise in the writing and presentation of information to a standard that engages appropriately with academic conventions in relation to style, tone, structuring and
referencing. As an integral element of the final year the student will have ready access to a variety of research methods training to provide the skills required for successful completion of the dissertation. Supervision for this element of the MSc will be provided by existing academic staff and subject experts currently employed by the University of Edinburgh or National Health Service staff. Candidates will also be encouraged, where appropriate, to work closely with senior staff at their home institutions.

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 Full Year
Course Start Date 19/09/2022
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 588 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% written assessment
Feedback Students will be asked to submit a project outline in advance of the start of the academic year (i.e. at the end of academic year 2) on which they will receive written feedback. At this stage, the outline must be approved by the teaching team in order for students to progress into the dissertation year.

Feedback will be given on an informal basis through direct contact between supervisor and student as the year progresses. This feedback will be in written or live audio (or video) form.

Dissertations will be marked within 15 days of submission and written feedback will be provided.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices, and thinking to complete and report a substantial research, data-anlaysis or meta-analysis project.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to conduct a literature review and interpretation to an advanced level.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate use of citation, statistical analysis, and research methodology.
  4. Produce a piece of work that has an impact on the care of cancer patients (through discovery and generation of new knowledge).
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills a) Mindsets:
Enquiry and lifelong learning:
Graduates of this course will be encouraged to pursue their own curiosity and to learn and develop in the field of translational cancer research, to strive for excellence in their own professional practice, and to strive to improve understanding of cancer, and implementation of this understanding, as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Aspiration and personal development:
Students will be encouraged to draw on their own experiences to identify areas in which they wish to grow and
develop acknowledging that different students will have different priorities and aspirations.

Outlook and engagement:
Students will be asked to bring to the course experiences from their own practice, often specifically relating to their own geographical context, that can be used to explore learning, engage with individuals from other international communities on the programme.

b) Skills:
Research and enquiry:
Although not all students will conduct a piece of research during their dissertation year, all students will use and further develop newly acquired expertise in accessing the literature and critical appraisal, to incorporate the findings of primary research in their arguments, discussions, and assessments.

Personal and intellectual autonomy:
The dissertation is a self-directed component, and whilst there is likely to be regular contact with a supervisor, there is no regular teaching. Students will therefore develop personal and intellectual autonomy.

Personal effectiveness:
Success on the course will require students to be effective and proactive learners. Using the resources of their dissertation supervisor, and the university learning and information environment, students will be encouraged and supported to contribute to their own learning, as well as that of others.

Excellence in the dissertation element of the programme requires the attainment of a high standard of written communication skills.
KeywordsDissertation,Molecular biology of cancer,Precision oncology,Research,Data analysis
Course organiserDr Lesley Stark
Tel: (0131) 332 2471
Course secretaryMs Deborah Walker
Tel: (0131 6)51 1513
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