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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MEDI3218 Research, Evaluation, and Special Studies Year 3

Module manager: Dr Mark Iles/Dr Theresa Munyombwe

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Compulsory strand of MBChB programme – runs over years 1-5. For students entering via alternative routes, evidence of satisfactory teaching and academic attainment is mandatory


MEDI3216Innovation, Development, Enterprise, Leadership and Safety 3
MEDI3217Campus to Clinic 3
MEDI3219RESS 3 Special Studies Project

This module is not approved as a discovery module


RESS Purpose

At graduation, a newly qualified doctor should be able to critically evaluate research findings, recognise the inherent limitations and strengths of evidence, understand how this should be used in management guidelines, and be able to evaluate application to clinical practice. They will have participated in a breadth and depth of curricular experience to develop individual evaluation and research skills.

RESS Objectives

The RESS strand is a core part of the MBChB programme, aimed at providing medical students with the opportunity to acquire, develop, and apply research and evaluation skills. RESS maps directly to Outcome 1 of Tomorrow’s Doctors 2009: ‘The Doctor as a Scholar and a Scientist: Students will apply scientific method and approaches to medical research.

The RESS strand is an integral part of the MBChB SAFER-MEDIC core curriculum, and also maps to the following Tomorrow’s Doctors themes:

- Biomedical practice in medical practice (8)
- Population health and health improvement in medical practice (11)
- Scientific method & approaches to medical research (12)
- Use of information in a medical context (19)
- Reflection, learning and teaching (21)
- Learn and work effectively within a multi-professional team (22)
- Protect patients and improve care (23)

Learning outcomes
RESS strand incorporates 6 key themes :

A. Research and evaluation methods
B. Information retrieval and evidence gathering
C. Critical analysis and review
D. Data capture and processing
E. Interpreting research implications
F. Communicating research and evaluation outcomes


The RESS strand will consist of:

- E-Learning and lectures on relevant topics
- Skill-based exercises
- Working through a structured research project
- Special studies

The RESS strand curricular content will follow the same basic structure in each year (based on desired knowledge outcomes for that year mapped against the whole programme outcomes), for example:

- Determine need
- Formulate research question
- Identify appropriate research method
- Gather data
- Analyse, summarise, present
- Draw conclusions
- Evaluate

The emphasis and degree of guidance provided will vary from year to year, building on previous experience according to the spiral model of the curriculum, depending on what is introduced, practiced, and assessed at each stage, but the trend will be towards more independence and less structure, from closed to open questions.

Year 3

-Examine evidence-based practice for five major clinical problems (aetiology, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and systematic review) using conditions relevant to and drawn from clinical placements
- Relate research evidence to students’ experiences with real service users/contexts encountered during clinical placements, to balance research evidence, clinical expertise and service user preferences in the application of evidence-based medicine
- Identify gaps in research evidence base and develop rigorous, robust and ethically-sensitive research protocols to fill the evidence gap.

This year will also include preparation and planning for the Student-Led RESS Project (SLRP: RESS4/5) which students undertake in the final 2 years of the MBChB programme.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours96.00
Total Contact hours54.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study spent on independent guided learning as part of the projects, including:

- Advanced literature searching strategies for primary and secondary research evidence.
- Clinically-applied critical appraisal of aetiological research, diagnostic research, prognostic research, therapeutic research and systematic reviews of such research.
- Research protocol development and planning, involving: sampling, data collection/measurement, research ethics, data analysis and research synthesis.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be required to complete tasks and document progress through an electronic portfolio throughout RESS3. This will include not only summative (assessment for progression) but formative (assessment for learning) components with feedback to students. The portfolio will incorporate access to monitoring and tracking of students’ progress towards the RESS intended learning outcomes as well as a personal developmental progress log. Monitoring of progress in this strand will be incorporated into the small groups the students will be working within through the MBChB curriculum, and thus incorporate academic and personal tutoring mechanisms, the former delivered following each tutorial session.

Students will receive feedback on assignments uploaded to the electronic portfolio following each of the sessions on consuming research evidence, as well as feedback on presentations developed and delivered during tutorial sessions.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Tutorial PerformanceTo include group and individual tasks, presentations and reflective logs100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Assessment for Progression will comprise five components. Completion of: online literature searching tasks; critical appraisal of clinically-relevant aetiological, diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic research. Students will complete a 3000 word research proposal including a mini-literature review as a formative assessment (Assessment for Learning) and will receive individual feedback from tutors. Year 3 RESS tasks will be recorded as non-graded passes, with opportunity to resit in the resit period. Please also refer to MBChB Common Assessment Framework.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 03/12/2020 14:38:59


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