MEDSCI 744 : Project Design in Biomedical Science

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester Two (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An individualised course of study in which each student will provide an exposition of the background to a specific research question in the biomedical sciences combined with a proposal of the best methods to investigate that specific question. A holistic consideration, including the ethical, regulatory, budgetary as well as, any other relevant aspects, of the chosen methods will be documented.

Course Overview

MEDSCI 744 is a compulsory course for all students enrolled in the Postgraduate Diploma in Biomedical Science and Master of Biomedical Science. There are no lectures assigned to this Course. Rather, the course is based on developing ideas with a mentor around a research question that will from the basis of a written research proposal. This proposal may become the basis of a Masters research project. The written research proposal may have more resemblance to a grant application rather than just a literature review . It will include sections on background, proposed methods, ethical and regulatory considerations, a budget, responsiveness to Maori and the potential impact on health significance and/or translational potential to provide an understanding of the holistic requirements for biomedical research.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 30 points from Medical Science at Stage III or higher with a B– or better Restriction: BIOSCI 761, MEDSCI 701, OBSTGYN 705

Course Contacts

Dr Julie Lim, Dept of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences,
Dr Scott Graham,  Molecular Medicine and Pathology, School of Medical Sciences,

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate the ability to work independently with minimal direction/supervision (Capability 5.1)
  2. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively, iteratively and in a timely fashion with a supervisor or supervisors (Capability 4.1)
  3. Prepare and present a large scientific document/research proposal with appropriate structure, grammar and use of appropriate scientific language (Capability 1.1 and 1.2)
  4. Communicate with the assistance of visual aids, a specific research question, the background to that question and methods for analysis of the question (Capability 4.1 and 4.2)
  5. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the background to a specific research question and of appropriate experimental approaches to address the hypothesis/aims of that specific question (Capability 2.2)
  6. Display an understanding of the holistic requirements for biomedical research including analytic, ethical, regulatory, budgetary and responsiveness to Maori aspects of the research (Capability 6.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Preliminary research proposal 10% Individual Coursework
Oral presentation 25% Individual Coursework
Research proposal 65% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Preliminary research proposal
Oral presentation
Research proposal

The student will be penalised by the loss of 10% of their mark for the first 48 hours. If the assignment is not handed in within 48 hours of the deadline, it will receive no mark.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you are expected to develop a research proposal with guidance by your mentor. We encourage students at the beginning of the semester to discuss workload expectations with their mentors.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered in two delivery modes:

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including an introductory seminar and Responsiveness to Maori (R2M) workshop to complete components of the course.
There are no set lectures for this Course but other learning activities including the introductory seminar and workshop will be available  as recordings.


Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities including an introductory seminar and R2M workshop to complete components of the course.
This course runs to the University semester/quarter timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Students are encouraged to consult with their mentor recommended readings around the research area of interest

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.

Digital 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.

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 against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

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 your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.