The aims of the MRes Medical Research are to: • Provide robust education on research to compliment and support research exposure and experience for academically gifted medical and dental trainees, and research registrars; • Develop independent researchers of the future, able to compete for a Research Training Fellowship leading to a PhD and further postdoctoral research; • Contribute to the NHS drive to develop the vibrant academic community essential for first class healthcare.
Academic Clinical Fellows at Brighton and Sussex Medical School will be automatically accepted on the course. Applications from other NHS research registrars, doctors in the pharmaceutical industry, and others employed in a setting where medical research is a core function of their day-to-day activity will also be considered. In order to maintain the high research degree completion rate of BSMS, non-ACF applicants will only be accepted if they can demonstrate: an ongoing research programme in which they are currently involved; award of a research grant; or employer support for a locally-funded research project intended for publication.
Course structure and content The course requires 80 taught credits and a 100 credit research dissertation.
The taught modules (20 credits each) are: • Research Methods and Critical Appraisal • Epidemiology • Essential Statistics for Health and Medical Research. It is recommended that the final taught module be Evidence-Based Practice; alternatively, students may take any module from those offered by the Universities of Brighton and Sussex, with the approval of the Course Leader.
The dissertation (100 credits) requires a 16-20,000 word research dissertation which includes literature review, background, methodology, project management and governance, ethics, methods, results and discussion chapters. In addition, students are required to undertake a viva on their project, identify an appropriate journal for publication of their work and produce an article in the correct format to submit.
Students on the programme experience lectures, large and small group discussion and individual tutorials. To ensure that students are able to put their learning into context, each is employed in a setting where research forms a significant part of their activity. Students are encouraged to bring work-based difficulties and experiences to the group work to enhance the relevance of the content to day-to-day clinical and research activity.
Staff provide direction within the lectures and seminars with much learner autonomy evident in the group work and assessment. Learning is supported further by the use of StudentCentral and the usual visual aids and handouts. Students are expected to support their learning by the use and critical appraisal of primary sources of information.
Group work on the statistical module gives hands-on experience of working with, analysing and reporting data on computers as well as interpretation of worked examples from published and/or local research. Workshops on research ethics and governance are provided to support students through regulatory processes effectively.
Learning beyond the classroom comprises scientific, clinical and research reading as well as practical development and application of research skills. Students are expected to develop further academic, transferable, communication skills through robust scientific writing, presentations and written reports. Engagement with a research project at a very early stage is mandatory to ensure that autonomy in the whole research process of project management and governance can be learnt. Students are also given the opportunity to learn through teaching/facilitating on their chosen topic, particularly if research focuses on education.