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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Clinical Sciences : Critical Care

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (Critical Care) (CRCA11011)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Clinical 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, a quality improvement project, a systematic review, or the development of substantial clinical guideline.
Course description 1) Academic description

Students will be asked to identify and complete a project through three items of coursework followed by a dissertation (10,000 words). The project may be a piece of original research, a quality improvement project, a systematic review, or the development of substantial clinical guideline. The subject matter must be relevant to the area of clinical practice and we would envisage that students would consider something in their chosen specialty area.

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 principles of evidence-based medicine to professional clinical practice.

3) Student learning experience

The dissertation 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. The student will have access to (and should identify their own) resources for methods training to complete their dissertation.

Supervisors for this element of the MSc will be identified in conjunction with the student as individuals with appropriate expertise and supervisory experience. Candidates will be encouraged, where appropriate, to work closely with senior staff at their home institutions. Supervisors may be University of Edinburgh or Health Service staff, but where a suitable academic link exists, external staff may be contracted to provide additional formal supervisory support.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
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) 10% Written Coursework Assignment (initial abstract describing dissertation plan)

15% Written Coursework Assignment (Introductory literature search, identification of hypothesis/aim/research question, proposed methodology)

15% Written and verbal coursework assignment (production and presentation of conference e-poster including preliminary results)

60% Written Assignment (Dissertation)
Feedback Students will be asked to submit a project title near the start of the academic year, a project outline approximately eight weeks after the start of term, and an ePoster near the end of the year. Formative feedback will be given following each of these submissions. The formative feedback, together with the sequential assessment events and their summative feedback are designed to scaffold the development of the final report. The eight-week outline must be approved by the teaching team in order for students to progress to the remainder of the year (3).

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

Dissertations will be double-marked and written summative feedback will be provided. Final marks will be issued once ratified by the Board of Examiners.
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 in order to complete a and report a substantial research, quality improvement, or guideline development 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 methodology
  4. Exercise autonomy in producing a piece of work that has an impact on the care of critically ill patients
  5. Understand and navigate the appropriate ethical, legal, and data governance concerns
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 critical care, to strive for excellence in their own professional practice, and also to strive to improve care for patients 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 professional and 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 students will not necessarily conduct primary research in this course, they 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
Students will be encouraged to use their own personal and intellectual autonomy through their active participation in self-directed learning, discussion boards and collaborative activities to critically evaluate ideas evidence and experiences from an open-minded perspective.

Personal effectiveness
Success in the dissertation will require students to be effective and proactive learners. Using the resources of the supervisors, and the university learning and information environment, students will be encouraged and supported to contribute to their own learning.

Success in this aspect of the MSc requires the development of excellent written, spoken, and visual communication skills and all these skills will be developed and tested during the design, execution, and assessment of the dissertation.
KeywordsDissertation,Critical Care,Quality Improvement,Research
Course organiserDr Thomas Craven
Course secretaryMrs Kimberley Jamieson
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