Learning and teaching
Each taught module will take place over a period of one term. The learning process is formal lectures backed up by directed reading. Modules in cardiovascular pathophysiology and cancer biology in addition have smaller group tutorials. Most of the lecturers are drawn from faculty where the emphasis of lecture content will reflect the latest research interests of the lecturer. In addition, lectures are invited from colleagues in the NHS and in some cases specialists from abroad.
Modules in cardiovascular pathophysiology, cancer biology, and experimental haematology also set course work in the form of essay writing and the marks go toward final assessment for these modules.
Self-directed study in the form of preparation for scheduled sessions, revision and wider reading e.g researching subjects from PubMed, is a key component of this course.
Sessions in experimental method and design, core laboratory methods, statistical analysis plus workshops in project writing and examination answer writing, from the Queen Mary English Language and Study Skills unit complement the formal learning and are designed to enrich the learning process.
At least half the learning time will be spent on a research project. The usual locations are laboratories at Whitechapel, eg, Blizard Building or the Pathology and Pharmacy Building, or at Charterhouse, eg, Barts Cancer Institute. All spaces contain state of the art technology and world experts in research and technological innovation and provide unique top-ranking learning environments.
The overall assessment is based upon assessing four modules worth 15 credits each and the project which is worth 60 credits giving a total of 120 credits. Assessment is through examination in the form of essay writing, course work for some modules and a project write up. This is summarised below.
- Experimental Neuropathology: 100% examination, answer three questions from six in a three-hour examination
- Cardiovascular Pathophysiology: 80% examination, answer four questions from six in a two and a half-hour examination PLUS 20% by course work (essay)
- Cancer Biology: 80% examination, answer four questions from six in a three-hour examination PLUS 20% by course work (essay)
- Inflammation and Special Topics in Pathology: 100% examination, answer three questions from eight in a three-hour examination where two must be from section A (Inflammation) and one from section B (Special Topics in Pathology)
- Science of Biocompatibility: 100% examination, details from School of Engineering and Material Sciences
- Experimental Haematology: 80% examination, answer four questions from six in a two and a half-hour examination PLUS 20% by course work (essay)
- Project write up: a document of not more than 8,000 words marked by internal assessors.
All marking is done with reference to the recommendations of the Framework for Higher Education Quality (FHEQ) for level 6 released by the QAA.
Students will study the following subjects: experimental neuropathology, cardiovascularpathophysiology, cancer biology and either inflammation and specialist topics in pathology, or science of biocompatibility, or experimental haematology. Each taught module is valued at 15 credits. Students must do a research project over semesters 1 and 2 which is valued at 60 credits.
Neuronal cell structure and function, neurological defects acquired through head injury and other trauma, the clinical and pathological manifestations of neuro degeneration and the technology used to diagnose, investigate and treat the above e.g. genetic analysis, animal models and stem cell replacement.
Normal development of the cardiovascular system during growth and aging, pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease with respect to mechanical load such as increased blood pressure or reduced flow, the epidemiological factors associated with vascular pathology and novel non-invasive measurement techniques to monitor abnormal blood vessel properties.
Importance of homeostasis and its deregulation in oncogenesis in terms of cell proliferation and apoptosis, the biological and molecular processes influencing tumourogenesis and metastasis, the clinical and scientific basis of cancer management and treatment via surgical resection, radiotherapy and anti-cancer agents used in chemotherapy.
An overview of inflammation (chronic and acute), mechanisms of inflammatory pain, the mediators of inflammation, the regulation of acute inflammation, the mechanisms of auto-immune disease and neuro-endocrine modulation of inflammation. The special topics in clinical pathology include sessions on the bladder, the gastro-intestinal system and histopathological diagnosis and monitoring of prostate and testicular carcinomas.
An overview of the concepts involved in the biocompatibility of materials and their dependence on application, the range and complexity of biological responses to materials, devices and restoration, the range of effects that the physiological environment can have on material, device or restoration functionality and the methods used to assess biocompatibility and the associated ethics.
Normal haemopoiesis, the achievement of haemostasis and the diseases associated with de-regulated haemostasis, haemorrhagic and thrombotic disorders, red cell abnormalities, certain anaemias, bone marrow failures, the science and clinical aspects of blood transfusion, the clinical resolution of these diseases, the latest in genetics, and the molecular diagnosis of haematological disorders.
Original research, supervised by a senior academic expert in the field, presented as an oral presentation and a written document not exceeding 8000 words.
Sessions in core laboratory techniques and writing skills are also provided though not assessed.
This will enable students to:
- Apply cognitive skills to the role of pathology in describing the natural history of disease
- Evaluate and interpret the way in which disturbances in the homeostatic control mechanisms that maintain normal healthy function, can lead to disease
- Conduct a research project under supervision, collate, analyse and interpret data and present it orally and in written format, in a logical and coherent manner
- To acquire and put to use a range of transferable skills required for the clinical research environment e.g. planning, team-working, responsibility, professional integrity, honesty and self-confidence.