MEDSCI 701 : Special Studies in Medical Science

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The critical review and analysis of research literature relating to a research topic. Components include an extensive literature review article defining the current knowledge relevant to a particular research area, a research proposal outlining proposed Masters research topic and its significance, and a formal presentation of the proposal. Suitable for students intending to undertake a Masters thesis.

Course Overview

Students work individually with an assigned academic topic supervisor. This course is suitable for those planning to undertake a postgraduate research project. It is expected that the student will meet with the topic supervisor on a regular basis. Dates and times for these regular meetings should be arranged between the supervisor and student by mutual agreement.

Course Requirements

Restriction: MEDSCI 702, 744

Course Contacts

Dr Julie Spicer
Course Director
Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically consider ideas, texts and research in your chosen area (Capability 3 and 4)
  2. Find information, evaluate and apply principles and methods appropriate to the discipline to define problems in context or abstractly and analyse or solve them. (Capability 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Communicate effectively using appropriate context and discipline dependent language and present information clearly, logically and at the appropriate level (Capability 3, 4 and 6)
  4. Demonstrate the ability to work independently with minimal direction (Capability 1, 4 and 5)
  5. Be able to produce and present large scientific documents with appropriate structure, grammar and use of appropriate scientific language (Capability 3, 4, 6 and 7)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Literature Review Article 40% Individual Coursework
Research Proposal 30% Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Individual Coursework
Oral Examination 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Literature Review Article
Research Proposal
Oral Examination
Assessment is 100% in course assessment and there is no final examination.
Literature Review Article (40%) : Write a review article that defines the current knowledge relevant to a research area (approx 4000 words).
Research Proposal (30%) : Prepare a research proposal that could form the basis of a research project suitable for postgraduate research project (e.g. a 120 pt Masters or Bachelors (Hons) 45-60pt project).
Presentation (20%) : A presentation of your proposed research to an audience suitable to the disciplinary area.
 Oral examination (10%) : An oral examination of student’s knowledge of the subject is undertaken at the end of the presentation.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week for each 15 point course, this is approximately 150 hours of study.

It is expected that the student will meet with the topic supervisor on a regular basis. For this course, you can expect a around 20 contact hours with your topic supervisor across the semester (~2 h direct contact time per week). The rest of your time should be spent reading and thinking about your topic and working on the assignments.

Dates and times for these regular meetings should be arranged between the supervisor and student by mutual agreement

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

This is an an individualised course where students work one-on-one with an academic topic supervisor. Dates for supervisor-student meetings and for submission/delivery of assessments are by mutual agreement between student and supervisor.

There are no formal scheduled classes for the whole cohort and no course specific material or reading lists

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

No changes have been made for this semester.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 30/10/2023 12:07 p.m.