The year 1 SSCs will provide a practical research component delivered by PhD students from within the School of Medicine. Recruitment of PhD students will be initiated shortly and training will be given to students on 12th November and 17th December 2013.
The training will include content on:
- How to present short projects with defined aims, objectives and clinical impact.
- How to facilitate discussion around appropriate practical methods to their project. An opportunity for PGR students to participate in a facilitator exercise will be included.
- How to select relevant research articles for background to their project.
- How to develop risk assessments for their practical work and communicate that risk effectively.
- How to deliver a small group practical session/ data analyses session.
- How to assess projects.
- How to support students.
GMC guidelines for SSCs are given in Tomorrow’s Doctors Paragraphs 94-99:
94 The curriculum must allow for student choice for a minimum of 10% course time.
95 SSCs must be an integral part of the curriculum, enabling students to demonstrate mandatory competences while allowing choice in studying an area of particular interest to them.
96 The purpose of the SSCs is the intellectual development of students through exploring in depth a subject of their choice.
97 SSC learning outcomes must be mapped to outcomes in Tomorrow’s Doctors, and contained within the assessment blueprint for the programme, thus helping to make SSCs transparently relevant and clarify how SSCs contribute to the programme.
98 The assessment of these elements of the curriculum must be integrated into the overall assessment of students.
99 Information on the extent and nature of choice available in each SSC, and details on how they will be assessed and contribute to the overall assessment of students, must be publicly available for prospective and current students.
This is a common question that students and tutors consider when designing a new SSC project. There are a number of references that can help and the attached NHS guide to defining research may help you decide:
Defining Research Leaflet Apr 13
The first intake of medical students on the new C21 MB BCh curriculum began 23rd September 2013. Three weeks are timetabled for the year 1 SSC component and are scheduled for the weeks commencing 10th March 2014, 5th May 2014, and 12th May 2014. There are three main themes:
- A literature based SSC e.g. a critical evaluation in a specific field of clinical research, a reflective piece or a patient leaflet.
- Clinical pathophysiology presentation with students working in groups of 12.
- Practical research experience within one of the research themes of the school: cancer & genetics; infection & immunity; molecular & experimental medicine; primary care & public health; psychological medicine and clinical neurosciences.
Dr Sheila Dargan will be responsible for delivery of themes one & two and Prof Lesley Jones will coordinate the third theme.
Over the summer, I was appointed to the SSC Director post at Cardiff and it is something I am looking forward to being actively involved in. I believe SSCs are a perfect platform for medical students to look in greater detail at specific aspects of medicine.
I officially started 2 weeks ago and I have spent most of my time understanding the logistics of the current SSC delivery. There are components of SSCs throughout the MB BCh at Cardiff with a main block in year 3 and an elective in year 5. Student feedback reports SSC as a strength in the curriculum and I hope I can work further to build on that in the future.
The C21 modern medical curriculum will start in just over a week and SSCs will change in their delivery and be a part of the curriculum from year 1. There will be a practical research experience delivered before the end of the year and medical students will have an opportunity to engage with PhD students.
The year ahead is set to be an exciting one and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead!