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The University of Southampton

MEDI6231 Research Skills for Biomedical Science 2

Module Overview

This module will build on key components of Research Skills in Biomedical Sciences 1 (MEDI6049) where students learn to develop a research hypothesis and project in addition to statistical methodology. This module will enable students to gain understanding and develop the skills required to design and write up a research proposal for their three year PhD project proposal. You will construct a research hypothesis for your PhD project and develop this into a research proposal including a background section, statement of the problem, research hypothesis with aims and objectives, what types of data will be collected,organising data sets and consider how to analyse these, present the data and statistical findings appropriately and what research impact these findings might have The course is taught through a combination of initial lectures with interactive sessions and presentations based on your first rotation project, prospective meetings with your PhD project supervisor to discuss the development of your proposal and mainly independent study. At the end of this module, you should understand how to analyse a variety of types of data, and to be able to evaluate the analysis of data in published research.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Understand the value, nature, uses and limitations of a range of research methods (Programme LO A2)
  • Know how to construct a research hypothesis and develop it into a research proposal (Programme LO A4, B1, B2, B4, B5, C4 and D2)
  • Identify what appropriate Research Governance would be required for a research project (Programme LO A3)
  • Identify and justify the value of different sources of data in drawing conclusions from published literature (Programme LO A4)
  • Understand how to use a variety of statistical techniques (Programme LO C3)
  • Understand the differences between various statistical techniques (Programme LO C3)
  • Know how to use SPSS and GraphPad Prism software to manage, present and analyse data (Programme LO C4))
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify the appropriate use of quantitative methods (Programme LO A2, B1, B2, B4 and B5)
  • Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate use of statistical techniques (Programme LO B1, B2 and B5)
  • Identify and perform appropriate data presentation and summary (Programme LO C3, C4 and D2)
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use Information Technology to analyse and present research findings (Programme LO C3and C4)
  • Use Information Technology to analyse and present research findings (Programme LO C3and C4)
  • Direct your own learning (Programme LO C1, C2, C3 and C4)
  • Exercise initiative and personal responsibility (Programme LO C1, C2, C3 and C4)
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Differentiate the value of information from different types of study design and different sources (Programme LO A4 and B1)
  • Critically assess research carried out by others, evaluate its usefulness for your own practice (Programme LO A2, A4 and D2)
  • Differentiate between the different types of data (Programme LO A4, B1 and B5)
  • Identify appropriate statistical techniques for data analysis (Programme LO A2, A4.B1, B2, B4 and B5)
  • Apply knowledge of effective communication skills in written format (Programme LO A2, A3, B1, B2, B5, C4 and D2)


• Types of Research • Developing a Research Hypothesis using aims and objectives • Develop a three year PhD project from a research hypothesis • Apply appropriate statistical methods to analyse collected data. • Research impact

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A single half-day workshop will be held at the beginning of the module which will include a recap of the content of RSBS1 and interactive sessions where students will be able to discuss their first rotation project using the mark scheme from this module. Students will also have a minimum of 2 opportunities to discuss their project proposal with their proposed supervisor during the course of the module.

Independent Study93
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Machin D & Campbell MJ (2005). The design of studies or medical research. 

Statistics for the terrified.

Confidence interval analysis.

PS: Power and sample size calculation.

Electronic statistics textbook.

Campbell MJ, Machin D & Walters SJ (2007). Medical Statistics: A textbook for the health sciences. 


UCLA Statistical Computing Resources.

Bowling A (2001). Eesearch Methods in Health: Investigating health and health services. 

Bland M (2000). An Introduction to medical statistics. 

Field A (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS for Windows. 

Kirkwood BR & Sterne JAC (2003). Essential Medical Statistics. 


Assessment Strategy

The assessment for the module provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. There will be one assessment: - The development and written presentation of a research proposal. Assessment: Develop a research proposal including a literature review and protocol design (2000 words) (100%) You will consider all aspects that contribute to a successful proposal for a research question related to your PhD project. You will: • Identify an area of research interest. • Establish the context for the study and demonstrate a need for it. • Establish a research hypothesis with aims and objectives. • Show how the proposed study will meet that need, using the methods proposed. • Give assurances that the study will be ethical. • Indicate how the information will collected and analysed. • Indicate what the future implications of the study will be. You must pass the module overall at 50% or above. The assessment must be passed, no compensation allowed. Candidates who fail the module at the first attempt will be permitted to submit a re-written assessment as agreed by the module lead. Candidates who achieve at least 50% overall at the second attempt will be permitted to pass the module and the module mark will be capped at 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Project proposal  (2000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Project proposal  ( words) 100%

Linked modules



Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Resources for the module will be available on Blackboard. Required software will be available to students from University workstations or through iSolutions.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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