Key Facts

Course Title: Medical Science (Ethics)
Course type: MMedSci, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact Details:Debbie Paddison
Contact email:d.paddison@pmed.keele.ac.uk
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Medicine

Overview

This award has been designed to facilitate the learning of the generic skills and knowledge essential to successful higher clinical practice. With an emphasis on healthcare ethics and policy, it also covers areas such as an understanding of medical education, ability to appraise research and assess clinical effectiveness, and management and leadership skills in the healthcare setting. Each module consists of a mixture of different types of delivery, with some on-line learning and some face to face blocks of teaching, utilising a mixture of seminars, group work and short lectures.

There are a number of core modules and then a wide range of modules that are optional. We have designed the award to be as flexible as possible, including enabling students to study some modules from other Keele awards. This award has been mapped against the revised Good Medical Practice from the General Medical Council and can help you demonstrate your commitment to maintaining your fitness to practice for when recertification is introduced as part of medical relicensing. It has been accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners for continuing professional development.

Course Director: 

Roger Worthington MA PhD

Dr Worthington lectures at Keele University School of Medicine, North Staffordshire, and leads on medical ethics and law. He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dept. of General Internal Medicine) at Yale University, Connecticut. His research interests focus around ethics and health policy and relationships between theory and practice in national and international settings. As an educator he devises and delivers programmes for teaching and training in ethics and law for experienced clinicians and doctors in training. As a policy adviser he works as a consultant in the public sector as a specialist in standards, ethics and medical education.

Aims of the Course

Entry Requirements

You will need to be a healthcare professional in active clinical practice to apply for this award. Certain individual modules are open to other professionals with appropriate experience.

Course Content

Each module is given a credit rating within the national masters framework. These may be transferable from or to other institutions where the learning outcomes are comparable.

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Science: 60 credits 

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Science: 120 credits

  • Masters in Medical Science: total 180 credits

(The Masters degree must be completed within five years of registration, the Diploma within four years and the Certificate within three years. It will be possible to complete a Masters Degree in Medical Science in two years.)

It is not necessary to carry out a piece of original research to complete the award. The final 60 credits can be for a practice-based project, a teaching project such as robust evaluation of a programme you might be running, or it may be possible to accumulate credits from independent studies or a reflective portfolio. Individual programmes will be constructed for you at this stage through negotiation with the award leader.

 

Course Modules

  • Contemporary Challenges in Healthcare Ethics and Law (15 credits) CORE - To provide students with a high quality introduction to ethical and legal issues in healthcare and the knowledge and skills to enable further work on the subject.

  • Ethical Values in Health Policy (15 credits) CORE - The module aims to develop analytic approaches to healthcare ethics to take account of ethical values that form the backdrop of how, where and when healthcare is delivered in different settings. It also aims to develop competency in methodologies employed for doing healthcare policy analysis and comparing aspects of healthcare services and delivery in different countries.

  • Teaching Ethics and Professionalism (15 credits) CORE - This module aims to develop an understanding of theoretical and practical approaches to learning and teaching medical ethics and professionalism in healthcare practice settings; to apply knowledge of learning and teaching ethics and professionalism and help build expertise in the workplace; and, to help meet the continuing and professional development needs of the participant, benchmarked to standards set by the General Medical Council (see paragraph 16, Good Medical Practice).

  • Statistics and Epidemiology (15 credits) CORE - A basic appreciation of epidemiology and statistics is invaluable in understanding published literature and in designing studies, both research and audit studies.

  • Research Methods (15 credits) - This module aims to introduce students to issues in health research and to research methodology.

  • Communication Studies for Health Professionals in Clinical Practice (15 credits) - The module aims to develop excellent communication skills through an approach based on skills and values, to explore the theory and evidence underpinning communication skills teaching and to enable participants to use a skills-based approach to teach others.

  • Management of Patients with Chronic Diseases in Primary Care (15 credits) - The module aims to provide participants with an effective framework for planning, delivering and evaluating care packages for patients with chronic conditions, based on the National Service Frameworks and the principles of clinical governance. It explores the natural history, impact and outcomes of chronic disease, using cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and epilepsy as models.

  • Medical Education (15 credits) - Much of a doctor’s professional life is concerned with facilitating the learning of junior medical staff, as well as contributing to the education of other health professionals and patients. This module blends active learning on a teaching the teachers course with a virtual learning environment on-line - to enable you to study at a time and place more convenient to you.

  • Health Informatics (15 credits) - This module aims to acquaint participants with the ways in which information technology can support clinicians, patients and managers.

  • The Interface between Primary and Secondary Care (15 credits) - This module aims to provide an understanding of UK healthcare in the context of primary and secondary care providers.

  • Health Service Management (15 credits) CORE - One 3-day and one 2-day blocks. A significant part of a clinician’s professional life is spent as a leader and dealing with managers and aspects of management, often despite minimal experience and training in this area.

  • Clinical Effectiveness (15 credits) – To familiarise students with the methods and processes of critical evaluation of the professional literature and applying this clinically and as a self-learning model.

  • Reflective Practice (15 credits) – This module explores the nature of professional practice, using the paradigm of ‘The Reflective Practitioner’. It uses a variety of methods and participants’ current clinical practice to develop skills of ‘reflection in action’.

  • Rational Prescribing (15 credits) -  This module is run jointly with the Department of Medicines Management. This module explores the clinical decision making behind prescribing and offers a framework for evaluating new treatments.

 

Dissertation

The award of an MMedSci (Ethics) follows successful completion of the taught modules which make up the Diploma in Medical Science and submission of a further 60 credits worth of learning. This latter may be a research dissertation on a subject related to the individual’s specialty, in which case all candidates will also be expected to have completed the Research Methods and usually the Statistics and Epidemiology modules. A practice based project is another possibility, such as evaluation of changes implemented in a clinical setting, educational projects, or exploration of ethical dilemmas in policy and/or practice. It is expected to be a significant piece of work, and we encourage all students to consider aiming for publication of their findings. All candidates will be expected to have a local clinical supervisor for their project and educational supervision will continue to be provided by the award team. Previous experience has shown us that this is an extremely popular component of the Degree. Candidates have often published or presented their dissertation at Regional and National meetings.

Teaching and Assessment