BSc (Med Sci) & BSc (Dent Sci) Clinical Medicine Core Course 4 MED4039

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The Core Course forms the backbone of the intercalated degree programme, and is split into four elements - Core Research Methodologies, Research Skills, Current Research Issues and Journal Club. These provide students with a range of transferable skills as well as insight into current clinical and biomedical scientific methods and research as a basis for their specialist studies and research projects.


On average 1.5 days per week across semesters one and two. Teaching is generally split in 1.5 hour sessions.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Actively enrolled in an MBChB or BDS and normally have successfully completed at least the first 3 years. Exceptionally, some external students from specific partner institutions may join the course after completion of two years of MBChB or BDS (or equivalent); however award of the intercalated degree will be withheld until they have subsequently completed the required number of additional credits (or equivalent) at their home institution.

Recommended Entry Requirements

Will normally be placed within the top 50% of the year and have demonstrated good academic progress.

Excluded Courses



BSc (Med Sci), BSc (Dent Sci) Clinical Medicine Specialist Course

BSc (Med Sci), BSc (Dent Sci) Clinical Medicine Research Project

BSc (Med Sci), BSc (Dent Sci) Clinical Medicine Statistics



100% written examination in April/May.


Students are also required to complete various compulsory tutorial and coursework tasks during the year (for example presenting a journal club session). These are required to be completed to an acceptable level. If this does not happen on the first attempt / submission then formative feedback will be given and the student invited to re-do / resubmit the task as appropriate until a satisfactory level is attained.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to endow students with a number of key central skills and an understanding of the research process in order to facilitate better understanding of the concept of evidence based medicine.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Discuss the basic philosophy of science;

Outline the ethical issues in scientific and medical research, and discuss the safeguards, legal frameworks and processes surrounding these issues;

Describe the molecular basis of genetic variation and disease, in the context of DNA, RNA, Protein and function;

Contrast qualitative and quantitative approaches to data gathering and analysis;

Design and interpret experiments ranging from in vitro studies to clinical trials;

State the processes used in the development of guidelines for clinical practice;

Evaluate the utility and limitations of some key common laboratory methods;

Demonstrate critical appraisal of methods, results, analysis and interpretation of presented / published research;

Utilise a range of common IT solutions in relation to literature searching, data acquisition and databases, statistical analysis, word processing, presentation;

Contribute effectively to team-orientated tasks.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.

Attendance of at least 80% of lectures and tutorials is mandatory along with active participation in the seminar and other teaching opportunities.