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MCR8036 : Clinical Research with Older People (E-learning)

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alison Clapp
  • Lecturer: Dr Louise Southern
  • Owning School: Pharmacy
  • Teaching Location: Off Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module presents state of the art knowledge and experience from clinical experts and researchers specialising in the health of older people. It is a critical review of the challenges and opportunities when performing clinical research involving older people. The module is appropriate for clinicians and non-clinicians alike. The aims are:

•       To provide insight into the challenges and benefits of involving older people in clinical research, including hard to reach groups such as people with dementia and black and minority ethnic elders

•       To increase awareness of appropriate strategies to improve recruitment of older people to clinical research studies in range of settings including hospital, care homes and clinical trial units

•       To facilitate consideration of potential topics for future clinical research involving older people

Outline Of Syllabus

The background:

Why involving older people in clinical research is important

Reasons for under-representation of older people in clinical research
Ageism and attitudes towards older people


Ethical considerations when working with older people
Consent and capacity
Mental Capacity Act Legislation
Defining quality of life

Strategies to recruit older people:

Barriers to recruitment
Recruitment strategies

Communication and the physical environment:

Communicating with older people and carers
The physical environment
Planning and logistics

Patient and public involvement (PPI):

What is PPI?
PPI with older people

Research with older people in specific environments:

Acute care
Community settings

Research with "hard to reach" groups:

People with dementia
Black and ethnic minority elders

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion881:0088:00Preparation of material for activities and completion of preparation of assessments.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading201:0020:00Participation in activities such as discussion boards and assignments.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice201:0020:00Participation in activities.
Guided Independent StudyProject work201:0020:00Participation in activities.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity201:0020:00Participation in group reflections on discussion boards.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00Independent reading and literature review.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time121:0012:00Online discussion and support at flexible times across the 12 weeks
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will be delivered by e-learning via the Canvas VLE. The curriculum will be presented through a series of guided learning opportunities including links to written materials, e-based tutorials and discussion boards. The tutor will respond online to student activities to provide dynamic feedback, present alternative points of view and pose further questions.

Students will be directed to research and reading relevant to the curriculum and will be encouraged to seek examples of clinical research with older people relevant to their own professional background as independent study. Students will be guided to reflect on their learning using an online journal. Students will be able to interact with each other and share their knowledge via interactive tools such as the discussion board.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M40Critical appraisal of a clinical research study (1000 words)
Portfolio2M20Participation in collaborative e-learning activities such as discussion board.
Oral Presentation2M40Submission of recorded presentation - 15 minutes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The critical appraisal test the student’s comprehension of strategies to recruit and retain older trial participants, their ability to critique trial design, and their ability to evaluate research data.

The oral presentation tests the student’s ability to synthesise information, present data (verbal and visual communication skills) and the level of their understanding of the subject in the context of a particular example.

A participation grade is included to encourage and reward the student's engagement with the collaborative activities. This includes reflection on peer experiences with older adults in clinical and research environments. Activities encourage consideration of the benefits of and barriers to the participation of older adults in clinical research.

Should a student fail the participation assessment and have to undertake a re-sit they will have to complete a different form of assessment. The student will be asked to look at 2 participation activities as identified by the module leader/team and submit a 500 word written summary (approx. 250 words per activity).

Formative assessment opportunities such as such as self-test questions are included in the e-learning material to encourage identification of learning needs and reinforce knowledge.

Students will submit their work for assessment via the Canvas VLE, and feedback given electronically.

Reading Lists