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OPT060: MSc Research Project

This module forms a compulsory part of the MSc in Clinical Optometry, where a project through advanced study or research is required.

To complete this module, you must successfully complete a research project or systematic literature review in an area relevant to optometry, and write up a report (up to 20,000 words).

MSc project topics can be suggested you or chosen from a list provided by staff. The topic for research is agreed between the module leader, proposed supervisor(s) and by you. It is the general intention that the project will be conducted whilst you continue with your regular employment, and a period of one year will normally be allowed for completion.

Start dateSeptember / March
Credits60 credits - CET points available
Module tutorsGrant Robinson
Ben Mead
Tuition fees (2020/21)£3720 - Home students
£6930  - Students from outside the EU
*Please contact us for EU fees.
Module codeOPT060

Learning objectives

On completion of the module you should be able to:

  • appreciate the extent of information resources available to your field of chosen research
  • search for appropriate information whilst maintaining a critical approach to the available literature
  • demonstrate expertise in your chosen subject area
  • demonstrate an understanding of research methodology and study design
  • show deep understanding of the techniques and rationale used in your research
  • understand the analysis of experimental data
  • demonstrate an awareness of other statistical approaches to data analysis
  • show understanding of results and conclusions of the work, and its limitations (as appropriate)
  • relate the findings to those of other researchers and current optometric practice.

How the module will be delivered

Independent study is key to this module and is fully supported by the supervisors and course team.

You will be required to attend an introductory seminar, via the virtual learning environment, with the module leader and prospective supervisor(s) to explain the module and the expectations of the supervisor(s). The frequency of communication and/or meetings between you and the supervisor(s) will be determined on an individual basis. Regular communication with your supervisor(s) is a key to success.

You will be directed to appropriate resources and generic texts to support your chosen topic and your research skill development. From this initial learning, the research/review question will be further refined, followed by the development of the research project.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic skills

  • Advance your own knowledge and understanding
  • Collate and synthesise information from several resources to improve learning
  • Write concisely and clearly for the academic and clinical community
  • Interpret data

Generic skills

  • Manage projects and time
  • Work independently
  • Use a range of IT software packages and online resources
  • Problem solving

Syllabus content

This module will cover the following topics which will be developed as appropriate by the student:

  • Identification of  a suitable evidence based research hypothesis
  • An experimental design/ research methodology which tests the research hypothesis
  • Ethical aspects of the research design and methodology
  • Collection and/or compilation of ‘quality’ data
  • Statistical analysis appropriate to the experimental design/ research methodology and to the type of data
  • Discussion of the research findings in the context of the current literature
  • Written and verbal presentation skills

How the module will be assessed

Informal formative assessment will take place at regular intervals throughout the project, via communication with supervisor(s) who will provide feedback on the your progress.

The assessment (100%) occurs at the end of the module when a written project report is submitted within the agreed time frame (normally 12 months).

This is examined by your supervisor and will also be marked by another member of staff in the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences. The final award is approved by the PGT Examinations Board (after consultation with the External Examiners).

The standard expected in research projects is that which demonstrates that you meet the criteria for a qualification at level 7, as set down by the QAA benchmarks.