Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions


Professional and Research Skills in Biomedical and Clinical Science

Module titleProfessional and Research Skills in Biomedical and Clinical Science
Module codeHPDM143
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Jon Locke (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module aims to prepare you for undertaking either of the Research Project (60 or 30 credit) modules and for those interested in developing their academic clinical careers. You will learn about approaches to conducting a literature review and how to establish and critique current knowledge with respect to a specific research question. You will be given a firm grounding in the basics of statistical methodology. You will practise and develop your skills in disseminating proposed research to non-scientific (lay) and scientific audiences, in oral and written forms. In summary, the module will enable you to practise and develop some of the professional and research skills needed to successfully conduct biomedical research.  

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will develop the skills necessary for you to carry out scientific research. We will provide you with a number of research briefs that detail currently funded research being done within the College. You will select one of these and present and write a grant application. During the course of this module you will examine the research process including literature searching, referencing, critical appraisal, user/patient involvement, peer/expert review and dissemination. You will develop your understanding of simple statistical tests and investigate some of the core principles of scientific writing.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. The nature of this module means that all module ILOs are also discipline-specific, see discipline-specific ILOs below.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Understand the fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistics and use of simple statistical tests to describe a sample or make inferences about a population.
  • 2. Demonstrate an understanding of the purposes and processes involved in writing a literature review.
  • 3. Evaluate the various methods available to communicate scientific messages to different audiences, including patients and public

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Communicate accurately and effectively with peers, tutors and the public.
  • 5. Critically reflect on personal practice and make connections between known and unknown areas, to allow for personal development, adaptation and change.
  • 6. Respond to innovation and new technologies and be able to evaluate these in the context of best practice and the need for improved service delivery and/or improved research performance.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows:  

  • The research process; formulating a clear research question, literature searching and referencing, critical appraisal, patient/user involvement, peer/expert review, dissemination to different audiences 

  • Designing studies of suitable statistical rigour; power/sample size calculations, non-parametric/parametric data, paired data, outliers, subgroup analysis, correlation, probability, confidence intervals 

  • Scientific writing; abstracts, journal articles, structuring, reference systems. 

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2Student presentations. Presentations (e.g. PowerPoint-based presentation to group in face-to-face setting) may be replaced by PowerPoint-based presentation to the group using Teams/Zoom.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities18Workshops/seminars. Small-group discussion in tutorials and seminars may be replaced by synchronous group discussion on Teams/ Zoom
Guided independent study8Reading of provided project proposals and selection in advance of contact day 1
Guided independent study12Preparation of PowerPoint presentation for contact day 3
Guided independent study4Editing of PowerPoint presentation following lay and peer feedback
Guided independent study31Writing of project grant application
Guided independent study75Online resources and independent guided literature research


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral presentation – feedback from lay panel and peers 5-15 slides (8-12 minutes)1-6Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Grant application 902250 words 1-6Written
Contribution to online discussion forum10 5 substantive posts 1-6Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Grant application (90%) (2250 words) Re-write of grant application 1-6Typically within six weeks of the result
Contribution to online discussion forum (10%) (5 substantive posts)Contribution to online discussion forum 1-6Typically within six weeks of the result

Re-assessment notes

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:    


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Greenhalgh, T. (2019). How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine 65th edition. Hoboken, New Jersey,  John Wiley & Sons Ltd 

Albert, T. (2016). Winning the Publications Game: The smart way to write your paper and get it published. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press 

Herzog, M.H, Francis, G and Clarke, A. (2019). Understanding Statistics and Experimental Design: How to Not Lie with Statistics. Cham, Switzerland: Springer  

Browne, M.N. and Keeley, S.M. (2014). Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Ltd

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – 

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Professional, research, skills 

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date