Core Module Information
Module title: Research Methods in Biomedicine

SCQF level: 10:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: BMS10110
Module leader: Mick Rae
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: LIFE SCIENCES

You will require level 9 equivalent knowledge of molecular biology, basic molecular biological techniques, level 8 physiology/pathophysiology, and level 8/9 scientific writing and researching skills.

Description of module content:

You will learn about the main methods employed in biomedical sciences laboratory research targeted towards investigating disease processes, unravelling underpinning mechanisms that result in a disease, and how understanding of such can then pave the way to novel therapeutic approach development. Three main approaches will be discussed:
1. in vivo modelling;
2. in vitro models and
3. in silico molecular approaches. In each case you will consider the applicability of each paradigm, where complementarity exists, and how experimental studies are designed and executed, including pertinent downstream analytical investigations. By the end of this module you will have a deeper appreciation of how each of the above routes plays its own unique role in the modelling of disease. In each case, exemplars of published work that illustrates the utility of each approach will be provided, to engender confidence in and understanding of strengths and limitations of each.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Work with a detailed knowledge and understanding of strengths and limitations of a number of research paradigms
LO2: Demonstrate a critical understanding of study design utilising one or more of the three routes of investigation under discussion
LO3: Use published work to inform design of future experimental studies
LO4: Understand how work from any of the three approaches discussed can be translated to human relevant outcomes

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Mick Rae
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module will be taught using a mixture of lectures and tutorials. You will also be encouraged to attend School research seminars. Lectures will cover the essentials of each of the three research paradigms identified above, and tutorials will facilitate discussion and deeper learning of each. Additionally, lectures and tutorials will also highlight examples of each of the three approaches from published literature, thereby illustrating the power, and also the limitations of each approach.
The following employability skills will be developed in this module:
1. planning and organisation,
2. information and
3. digital literacy, written communication.

Formative Assessment:
You will be able to track your progress throughout the module via formative assessments every three weeks designed to let you assess your learning. These will take the format of hypothetical research proposal extracts where you will appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the work as a group, and then make suggestions for improvements/refinements. These will be delivered one week prior to the tutorial session during which they will be discussed in order for students to have sufficient time to research the work contained in the hypothetical proposal and reflect upon strengths and weaknesses. During tutorials you will have the opportunity to discuss with module tutors and thus receive face to face feedback on your learning. These formative sessions will also embed scientific writing skills throughout.

Summative Assessment:
100%: You will write a biomedical research proposal on a disease/mechanism of your choice, and develop a hypothesis to be tested. Each proposal will contain one or more of the three modelling routes discussed, synthesised to make a cognate series of experiments designed to test your hypothesis, and justified as the best investigative paradigm ie whichever route(s) used should be scientifically justified as the route with best utility for your research paradigm. Additionally, you will describe the translational impact of your studies. Each proposal will also require a lay summary where your skills of communication of complex ideas to a non-specialist audience will be assessed.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 20
Face To Face Tutorial 4
Independent Learning Guided independent study 176
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 100 1.2.3 & 4 12 , WORDS= 2500
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
BMS 10110 Research Methods in Biomedicine