SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMC924986
Module Leader Frances MacInnes
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Standard programme entry requirements

Summary of Content

Skills for Professional Practice has two main components: IT & Communication Skills and Research Methods & Data Analysis (RMDA). IT & Communication Skills will provide the students with a range of key skills and resources necessary to study at M level and develop scientific research and reporting techniques. This includes performing advanced searches using the university library catalogue and a range of general and subject databases, understanding plagiarism and developing effective analysis and argument to include citing and referencing. Students will gain an understanding of ethical and safety issues for health professionals, including appropriate professional conduct and the code of ethics required of those working as health care professionals. A workshop approach will be used to explore the ethics and values of working in health professional practice. In addition, the student will be required to maintain a reflective blog to include commentary on skills and personal development during their time as a Masters student. RMDA will focus on design and project planning as key elements of the research process in clinical studies. It will introduce the student to the philosophy and application of study design as the basis of good research. It will equip the students with the skills and knowledge to enable them to understand what affects research design and why design planning is critical to research success, equipping them with the skills needed for a career in science and health. In addition, RMDA will introduce the student to the different philosophies underlying qualitative and quantitative research and the advantages of triangulation. RM DA will also enhance the student's proficiency with two types of software: qualitative data analysis software for the analysis of transcripts from focus groups and interviews and statistical software for the analysis of quantitative data from questionnaires and biometric measurements.


IT & Communication Skills: -360b7 Uses of academic reading & writing at M level -360b7 ICT Skills for M level publications (advanced WP skills, Excel, PowerPoint) b7 Plagiarism & using Turnitin (introduction, identifying and avoiding plagiarism & paraphrasing, originality reports) b7 Proof reading and accuracy b7 Citing & referencing (using RefWorks, creating folders, selecting texts, manual input, searching & editing, creating bibliographies, referencing styles - Harvard) b7 Interpersonal development (PDP, reflection, working in groups) b7 Intercultural communication b7 Reflective practice b7 The role of ethics and ethical approval and values expected of health professionals and related ethical issues. -358b7 To understand appropriate professional conduct and the code of ethics required of those working as health care professionals. -358b7 Research Methods & Data Analysis: -360b7 Research process and planning principles -360b7 Data collection concepts and principles: sample size, sample selection, validity, reliability b7 Qualitative research methods: focus groups, interviews b7 Qualitative data analysis: thematic content analysis, coding b7 Quantitative research methods: observational, quasi-experimental, experimental, with underpinning concepts such as control, randomisation, replication, confounding, psychological factors b7 Questionnaires: design and piloting, visual analogue and rating scales b7 Levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval/ratio b7 Techniques of graphical and numerical summarisation of data b7 Hypothesis Testing: Parametric and non-parametric tests for two

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:" Develop the student's critical and analytical thinking " Maintain a reflective diary/blog of activity over the module period" Utilise the necessary ICT skills and IT systems for devising and preparing assignments and publishable quality reports" Critically assess published scientific papers" Develop an understanding of Professional conduct and code of ethics for health professionals" Explain the role of design and data collection in health and biological research" Apply and justify design structures appropriate to the context in which research is planned" Perform a qualitative data analysis using appropriate software" Perform a quantitative data analysis using statistical software to present and analyse data, including parametric and nonparametric hypothesis tests for two samples

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module uses a blended learning approach with lectures, tutorials, computer labs and online learning via GCULearn VLE. It follows a student centred learning approach to facilitate the delivery of key practical and academic skills the student requires to successfully complete a programme of study at Masters level. Since the majority of students are international, this approach is most appropriate in allowing the student to tailor their learning under the supervision and guidance of academic staff. Students will be encouraged to work independently using both online and hard copy materials.

Indicative Reading

Recommended: Johnson, S & Scott, J (2014) Study & Communication Skills for the Biosciences. 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Bassot, B (2016). The Reflective Journal. 2nd Ed. Palgrave, London. Greenhalgh, T. (2001) How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence Based Medicine. Blackwell. Hek, G. (2006) Making Sense of Research. Sage Publications. Holmes, D., Moody, P., Dine, D. (2011) Research Methods for the Biosciences. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford. McCleery, R. H., Watt, T. A. & Hart, T. (2007) Introduction to Statistics for Biology, 3rd Ed. Chapman & Hall/CRC. Ott, L. & Longnecker, M. (2010) An Introduction to Statistical Methods and Data Analysis, 6th Ed. Thomson Learning. Zar, J. H. (2009) Biostatistical Analysis, 5th Ed. Prentice-Hall. Bowers, DA (2008) Medical statistics from scratch: an introduction for health care professionals. 2nd Edn. Chichester, John Wiley. Crombie (2008) The Pocket Guide to Critical Appraisal 2nd Edn. Blackwell, London Green J and Thorogood N (2004 ) Qualitative methods of Health Research,Thousand Oaks, Sage publications London Hansen, E.C. (2006) Successful Qualitative Health Research, Open University Press QSR International (2008) NVivo 8 Fundamentals, QSR International Hickson M (2008). Research handbook for health care professionals. Wiley- Blackwell, Chichester McNamee et al (2007) Research methods for clinical therapists: applied project design and analysis (2004). 4th Edition. Edinburgh. Churchill Livingston.

Transferrable Skills

Reading, writing and communication skills Independent study skills Problem solving Logical thinking Reflective practice ICT skills Information Literacy Ability to use numerical data Ability to apply knowledge Team work Presentation skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 98.00
Tutorials (FT) 11.00
Assessment (FT) 3.00
Practicals (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 70.00 45% Presenation, blog and online test.
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 45% Statistical analysis