Module Catalogue 2022/23

MCD8099 : Clinical Speciality Research Project and Dissertation (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Giles McCracken
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Richard Holliday, Professor John Whitworth
  • Owning School: Dental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
Semester 3 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 30.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The aims of this module are:

• To allow students to undertake a general training in research methods and management within first-class research environments involving a project related to their clinical specialty exploring one or more aspects of clinical research.
• To enable students to demonstrate understanding and skills in clinically related research and link this to the delivery of evidence based clinical care to patients.
• To enable students to develop a range of professional and key skills, which will enable them to engage in research at an advanced level in higher education or in a senior professional capacity
• To ensure that, within these aims, the students will experience a range of cutting-edge research within the Faculty of Medicine, School of Dental Sciences or in their own clinical environment.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will undertake a single research project in the field of the degree programme studied. Projects will offer experiences in research techniques and methods across the range of Research activities in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, School of Dental Sciences and if appropriate in the HASS or SAGE Faculties of Newcastle University. Choice of project rests with the student with the approval of the module leader. From the outset the purpose of the project is to widen the students’ outlook to, and experience of, research. The project is intended to allow students from diverse backgrounds to sample areas of current research that are of interest to them in an active research environment and to help them make an informed choice about future career directions and/or help them progress within their chosen career. Students will be supported by their research project supervisor(s) and module leaders if appropriate.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module, students will:

1. Have knowledge of the broad spectrum of clinical research activity in the University and elsewhere.
2. Be aware of the importance of time management and setting priorities within a project to ensure that the aims of a project are met
3. Have gained first-hand knowledge and experience of how research projects are designed, implemented, adjusted and managed
4. Have gained first-hand knowledge of the various outcomes from research projects and the different methods by which they are prepared and presented to research community
5. Understand how their project relates to the current literature

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

1. Make an informed choice of research project based on their own dental specialty and be able to defend this choice to academic staff
2. Select an appropriate variety of research methods applicable to their project
3. Critically discuss the research aims of their project
4. Maintain a record of their research project
5. Manage time appropriately for their project
6. Understand the importance of personal skills when working in a research environment
7. Manage and analyse data specific to their project
8. Critically evaluate their own findings and those of others (from current literature)
9. To produce a short dissertation and develop appropriate writing skills

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:0080:00Assessment preparation and delivery
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1100:00100:00Reading relevant literature
Guided Independent StudyProject work1400:00400:00Development of research tools, data collection and analysis
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision201:0020:00PiP monthly supervisory team meetings
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The students will develop a range of professional and key skills and will be trained and empowered to engage in research at an advanced level in higher education or in a senior professional capacity in other fields of employment. Students will be fully engaged in the project selection and development through a dialogue with their project supervisors. They will gain hands-on experience of a range of techniques used in research (appropriate to their own project) and will be required to maintain detailed records of their work and produce a short dissertation. Students will also prepare a lay summary, an oral presentation and an E-poster. This module will involve a significant amount of private study, including research-based fieldwork and practical experience of a range of clinical research techniques. The number of hours spent on practical work, fieldwork and private study will vary with the individual project but should be approximately as stated above.

Given the wide variety of project types, and professional situations that students find themselves in, there is no fixed timeline within the module - students determine their own planning and time management with advice.

As each dissertation project is unique and chosen by the student there are no set class activities.

This maps to IKOs 1-5 and ISOs 1-9.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation3M80An 8000 word limit dissertation in publication format.
Oral Examination3M20PiP 20 minute oral examination of the research project and dissertation.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1M20 minute Presentation of research proposal to the School. Feedback via continuing professional development processes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

First-hand knowledge of how research programmes are designed, implemented, adjusted and managed will be obtained and the outcomes reflected. The knowledge and practical skills generated are evaluated in all of the above assessments. Research outcomes are appropriately expressed in peer-reviewed publications and presentations at national and international meetings.

The assessment of this module reflects real-world of medical research and trains the students in the necessary skills required to write and submit: a lay summary, a short report or dissertation, and to present their project in an oral format. The lay summary tests the student’s ability to communicate their own work to a wider lay audience, a recognised and required skill in healthcare research. The dissertation tests the student’s ability to report and critically evaluate their own data and compare their own findings with the published literature, as well as their ability to present and analyse data and discuss their own work in a written format. The oral examination assesses the student’s ability to prepare and deliver a short summary of their project using appropriate software in clear way to an audience of peers in a time-limited and space-limited fashion. Interpersonal communication; planning & organising; initiative and adaptability are all qualities that contribute to the production of these outputs as on this course the entire research process from initial idea to final dissertation is the responsibility of the student, they do not just work an established project supplied by a supervisor. Computer literacy is assessed in the dissertation and oral presentation.

This maps to IKOs 1-5 and ISOs 1-9.

In order to pass this module students must obtain a mark of 50 or above for each summative assessment.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.