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Professional and research skills (ICM7091)

Module convener:           

Michele Branscombe,         

Other Key Staff:                              

Professor Lucinda Hall,


This module is designed to give the student a thorough background to the principles of scientific research to equip them to undertake relevant research within the NHS as an individual and as part of a research team.

This module is designed to give the student a thorough underpinning knowledge of the importance of research, development and innovation across the NHS and in healthcare science. Using this knowledge the student will be able to undertake relevant scientific research within the NHS.

Students will learn about the importance of ethics for a project and understand the legal framework in which research with patients and/or patient samples must be undertaken.

Students will develop the skills to present their research both to fellow healthcare professionals and to non scientific audiences.

The process of developing clinical guidelines from research results will be explored.

At the end of this module students will have a knowledge and understanding of:

  • the context within which research and audit are undertaken within the NHS and examine the contribution of the Healthcare Science workforce to undertaking cutting edge translational research for patient benefit and promoting innovation within the NHS.
  • the difference between audit and research and know different types of research approaches including qualitative, quantitative and systematic review.
  • current ethical approval processes for research and audit, the requirements for continuous monitoring, progress reporting, adverse event monitoring, study closure and archiving.

At the end of this module students will have intellectual skills which will enable them to:

  • understand how clinical guidelines are produced and the concept of evidence based practice including the role of current statutory and advisory regulatory bodies.
  • explain the processes for quality assurance in research, audit and service improvement.
  • describe the potential sources of research funding for Healthcare Science research and basic principles of Intellectual Property regulations.

At the end of this module students will have the following transferable skills and will be able to:

  • Explain the processes that underpin clinical trials and their potential value, risks and benefits
  • formulate a research question and design a project.
  • participate in peer review and user involvement in research design.
  • demonstrate effective oral communication skills including the ability to present scientific data to non-scientists.
  • identify how innovation will have a positive impact on the practice of healthcare science.
  • perform as a professional researcher within the healthcare setting.
  • At the end of this module students will have the following practical skills and will be able to:
  • prepare a project proposal including the ethical approval mechanism in the NHS.
  • present research findings in oral and written forms including scientific presentations
  • Critically review the literature to establish current knowledge with respect to a research question and summarise the findings.
  • Identify and discuss an audit project that has resulted in change specific to their specialism.
  • Identify and discuss a research study that has resulted in an improvement in patient care relevant to their specialism.

Students are expected to develop a strong basic background from text books but this must be supplemented by research in current scientific literature.

Suggested background texts include:

Dytham: Choosing and using statistics: A biologists guide.Harris: Medical statistics made easy
Bjorn: How to Write and Illustrate a Scientific Paper
Katz: From research to manuscript: A guide to Scientific Writing
Dytham: Choosing and using statistics: A biologists guide
Harris: Medical statistics made easy
Freeman: How to read a paper: the basis of evidence based medicine

Presentation of a scientific poster on a topic related to antimicrobials

Type of assessment: Coursework
Duration: A0 size poster
Percentage weighting in module: 30%

Write an SMI and COSHH assessment for a clinical laboratory

Type of assessment: Coursework
Duration: Completion of relevant templates

Oral presentation

Type of assessment: Oral presentation
Duration: 30 minutes
Percentage weighting in module: 40%


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