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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences : Health Information

Postgraduate Course: Research design in data science for health and social care (HEIN11057)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide students with an understanding of the principles of research design, to equip students with the core skills to approach research according to best research practice and to develop academic scientific writing skills essential to the development of a successful data science researcher.

The course is ideal for students from health, social and care services or computational backgrounds who want to know more about data science research in health, social, and care service contexts.

The course makes no assumptions about students' previous research experience. However, basic knowledge of data science in the context of health and social care will be required.
Course description This course introduces the dynamic process of research, research ethics and integrity, and best practice providing a foundation for the dissertation component of the programme.

The course focuses on the skills needed to critically appraise published research and carry out original research. The course will first introduce the core principles and assumptions of research enquiry, methods, design, ethics, integrity and best practice. Next, the course will introduce research design, hypothesis or research question(s) formulation and testing, allowing students to develop a more critical understanding of different study designs and the type of research questions they can answer. The course will then cover writing a research protocol, identifying a research question, ethical considerations and project monitoring and evaluation. In later weeks, the course will introduce the problem statement, background research into the current understanding of the research question (literature review), generating a hypothesis or research question, gathering/creating data, data analysis, and presenting results. Finally, students will be introduced to academic writing, peer-review, referencing, and issues in scientific writing (plagiarism, authorship and reproducible research). This course will provide a strong foundation for the dissertation component of the programme.
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 Flexible
Course Start Date 05/08/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2, Online Activities 70, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 10, Formative Assessment Hours 10, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 92 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback Formative feedback will be provided throughout the course, for example, during live question and answer sessions, quizzes, and discussion boards. A formative task will also be offered before the student submitting their summative assessed coursework. All assignments will be marked, and feedback provided.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of research design, ethics and integrity and best practice.
  2. Apply the most appropriate research design, ethical principles and best practices to plan a project that produces trustworthy, reliable, viable and reproducible research.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate research to relevant audiences.
  4. Critically appraise published literature on topics related to data science in health and social care.
Reading List
A reading list will be provided on the course virtual learning environment.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Mindsets:
Enquiry and lifelong learning
Students on this course will be encouraged to seek out ways to develop their research expertise. They will also be encouraged to strive for excellence in their professional practice and to use established and developed approaches to resolve research issues as they arise in their practice.

Aspiration and personal development
Students will be encouraged to draw on the quality, depth and breadth of their experiences to expand their potential and identify areas they wish to develop and grow. Students will also be encouraged to understand their responsibility and contribute positively, ethically and respectfully to the academic community while acknowledging that different students and community members will have other priorities and goals.

Outlook and engagement
Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning. Students will be asked to use their initiative and experience, often explicitly relating to their professional, educational, geographical or cultural context, to engage with and enhance the learning of students from the diverse communities on the programme. Students will also be asked to reflect on the experience of their peers and identify opportunities to enhance their learning.

Research and enquiry
Students will use self-reflection to seek out learning opportunities. Students will also use the newly acquired knowledge and critical assessment to identify and creatively tackle problems and assimilate the findings of primary research and peer knowledge in their arguments, discussions and assessments.

Personal and intellectual autonomy
Students will be encouraged to use their personal and intellectual autonomy to critically evaluate learning materials and exercises. Students will be supported through their active participation in self-directed learning, discussion boards and collaborative activities to critically evaluate concepts, evidence and experiences of peers and superiors from an open-minded and reasoned perspective.

Personal effectiveness
Students will need to be effective and proactive learners that can articulate what they have learned and have an awareness of their strengths and limitations, and a commitment to learning and reflection to complete this course successfully.

Effective researchers require excellent oral and written communication, presentation and interpersonal skills. The structure of the interactive (problem-based learning examples, discussion boards and collaborative activities) and assessment elements incorporate constant reinforcement and development of these skills.
Keywordsresearch design,research ethics
Course organiserDr Nazir Lone
Course secretaryMrs Laura Miller
Tel: (0131 6)51 5575
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