Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MEDS5020M Paper Criticism in Medicine

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Susan Richman and Dr Henry Wood

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

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Identical to the entry requirements for MRes Medicine.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Not offered as elective module


On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. classify the different types of articles which appear in clinical research journals;
2. evaluate the study design, including ethical considerations, of published papers and suggest improvements;
3. comment on the processes of submitting articles for publication and the peer review of scientific literature in selected journals and evaluate the effectiveness of peer review;
4. contrast the different forms of published abstracts and prepare an abstract of a published scientific paper;
5. assemble a structured analysis of the contents of original articles and criticise the findings;
6. discuss and critically evaluate the interpretation of original data.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. understand the process of publication and peer review of medical and scientific research
2. deploy accurately the standard techniques of analysis and enquiry within Medicine
3. demonstrate a conceptual understanding which enables the development and sustaining of an argument
4. appreciate the uncertainty, ambiguity and limitations of knowledge in published medical research.

Skills outcomes
The Paper Criticism module enables students to develop the following subject specific skills:

1. an understanding of the ethical issues of medicine
2. a knowledge of the current requirements for the governance of medical research and its publication
3. an evaluation of the global impact of medical research
4. an appreciation of the international issues which affect medical research
5. a description of the perspective of patients, service-users and society in medical research
6. the engagement of patients and the public in research.


The aim of the module is to encourage students to develop their critical and analytical skills with discussion and debate. Learning takes place in small groups and initially encompasses the process of paper publication, peer review and the scientific methods. The paper criticisms will develop the students' critical faculties by asking them to understand, condense and interpret scientific papers.

The emphasis will be on the scientific method and not on the content of these papers. The ability to evaluate published research will be assessed in an examination when an unseen paper will be presented for critical analysis.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours139.00
Total Contact hours11.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Reading tutorial material and preparing formative abstracts and appraisals.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students submit formative abstracts and appraisals in advance of the submission of the summative exercises. These formative assessments are returned to students with detailed, written feedback.

Students receive group verbal feedback during tutorials and individual written feedback on formative abstracts and appraisals.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentAssessed Abstract, 300 words10.00
AssignmentAssessed Appraisal, 1,000 words30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Compensation is permitted between the different assessed elements

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Compensation is permitted between the different assessed elements.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019