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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

DSUR5065M Research Project

40 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Alasdair McKechnie

Taught: 1 Sep to 31 Aug (24mth) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Entry to the Master of Science in Clinical Dentistry and Professional Doctorate in Clinical Dentistry Programmes


DSUR5059MCore Epidemiology
DSUR5061MIntroduction to Research Methodology and Ethics

This module is not approved as an Elective


This module represents an essential research component of the MSc and Professional Doctorate programmes in Clinical Dentistry. It aims to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their professional skills in Dentistry through individual original research projects. Through carrying out this research project they will develop their understanding of research methodology, good practise and the ethics and philosophy of research. They will gain experience of working within research groups with clinical and non-clinical colleagues. The module aims to give them the opportunity to enhance their skills in literature searching, data handling and interpretation and in critical appraisal of published research. It also aims to provide them with some insight into the processes of applying for funding of research and project planning. This module will provide students with opportunities to gain experience of scientific writing and presentation of data in written and oral formats.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this Course, students should have:
- completed a brief project proposal and research plan;
- completed an application for Ethical Committee approval if appropriate for their project;
- completed a clinical and/or laboratory research project that is original and executed with care and diligence;
- produced data of high quality, suitable for contribution to a scientific/clinical peer reviewed publication;
-demonstrated their development of skills in the use of library resources including computer based research tools and databases;
-submitted a dissertation of 10,000 words in an appropriate scientific format;
- presented their work in a verbal presentation and defended it in a viva voce;
Through successful completion of this module students will be able to;
- interpret and communicate knowledge through research and scholarship of publishable quality that would satisfy a peer review;
- present and defend research outcomes which extend to the forefront of the discipline or area of clinical practice;
-demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the subject area and expertise in relevant research skills;
- take a proactive and self-reflective role in working and develop professional relationships with others;
- formulate ideas and hypotheses proactively and develop, implement and execute plans by which to evaluate these;
- critically evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship;
- understand relevant ethical and legal issues;
- understand relevant health and safety issues;
- demonstrate responsible working practice.


Students agree the area of research with supervisors at the start of year 1 and then complete literature reviews and pilot investigations allowing the formulation of a research hypothesis and plan, and apply for Local Ethical Committee approval if appropriate. Subsequently the student carries out research investigations and the results of their research is presented as a Dissertation, which is examined by internal and external assessors and is defended in an oral examination.

Opportunities are provided for the student to develop a comprehensive understanding of, and training in, relevant research methodologies, as well as safety and ethical issues.

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
Independent Learning2801.00280.00
Supervision Meetings151.0015.00
Class tests, exams and assessment11.001.00
Private study hours100.00
Total Contact hours300.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Students will use private study time to carry out literature reviews and reading related to their research project. They will prepare a project proposal, plan and resource justification and complete an application for ethical approval if appropriate. Students will also use their private study time to maintain proper records of their results, and to present, analyse and interpret data. They will spend some time planning their research work. Students will also prepare an oral presentation, which will be delivered to their peers during a seminar session. Private study time will also be used to write a dissertation of up to 10,000 words and prepare for a viva voce examination.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress is monitored throughout the research project in regular meetings with supervisors and six monthly progress reports. For students registered on the Professional Doctorate Programme copies will be supplied to the Research Degrees Committee to satisfy University requirements for monitoring the progress of postgraduate research students. Students are also expected to present their research to peers and academics at research seminars. Early in the first half of the year students will prepare a short research proposal including justification of resources; this will be a formative assessment and will allow the department to assess the availability of resources. In the summer of year 1, a project report and literature review will be submitted and assessed by supervisor(s) using agreed and transparent criteria (10% of marks for module). Students will also prepare an oral presentation, which will be delivered to their peers and supervisors during a seminar session in the second half of the year. Students will be assessed by their supervisors for their diligence and the execution of their research (10% of marks awarded at end of project). Final assessment will be through submission of a research dissertation of 10,000 words (75%). This will be examined by internal and external assessors in a viva voce examination (5%).

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
Essay or Dissertation10,000 words75.00
Literature ReviewPosition paper (up to 3,000 words)10.00
Oral Presentationand defence of research (up to 1 hour)15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Exam with advance information on questions1 hr 5.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)5.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:21:04


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