Research Project or Literature-Based Dissertation

Course Type
Postgraduate, Module

Module overview

The research module can be approached by two different routes depending on student preference: a full research project of 60 credits or a literature review dissertation of 30 credits.

Research Project

Students will use both the theoretical knowledge they will acquire throughout the taught part of the course and the analytical skills they will develop in order to tackle a research question by themselves. Undertaking of the research project will involve formulating the question, acquiring and analysing the data and finally presenting and discussing the results. The project can be carried out in the hosting NHS laboratory, a research department or industry, under joint supervision i.e. tutors from both the hosting department and the programme. Research projects should be presented in the format of a paper for publication.
10,000 word report, to be written in the style of a research paper for publication 70%
Scientific presentation of project findings including a lay summary 30%


The aim is to allow students to carry out an in depth literature-based project focussing on genomics research or applications of genomics in the clinical domain. It will involve identifying a research question or area of interest and preparing a written report that summarises and critically evaluates the existing research, clearly identifying the strengths and weaknesses in the current body of literature. The student will also give an oral presentation on the project, responding to questions appropriately and critically reflecting on the experience and feedback. A written summary of the project for non-specialist and lay readers will also be prepared.

The dissertation must be undertaken in conjunction with additional optional modules (including  Module 12 - Professional and Research Skills) to attain the total of 180 credits.

10,000 word dissertation, to be written in the style of an extended review for publication 70%
Oral presentation of project findings including a lay summary 30%

Module Leads

Module Leads

Dr Andrew Bell (Lecturer in Cancer and Genomic Sciences)
Dr Rui Monteiro (Birmingham Fellow, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences)


60 Masters level credits (Research Project) or 30 Masters level credits (Dissertation)

Module attendance required

The agreed project may be undertaken at the University of Birmingham, or at the student’s workplace (if suitable).