QMU-Undergraduate-Prospectus- UG Prospectus 2019 - Page 63

In Year Three, the key clinical science topics remain shared across all courses, but further distinction between the courses also becomes apparent. This results in there being fewer shared modules. Year Four modules differ for all the degrees, either in the module itself or the topic choice within the module. Our courses are truly international, with students coming from many countries across the globe. The opportunity to study alongside students from different countries certainly broadens the whole student experience. Our proximity to Edinburgh positions us close to many of the leading players in the contract research and pharmaceutical research areas, as well as many large companies and industry. Our approach to learning and teaching Our innovative approach to learning and teaching includes not only the more traditional approaches of lectures and tutorials, but also, importantly for such biological sciences courses, numerous laboratory practicals throughout the course. In addition to these more typical approaches we also utilise communication/IT workshops, self-study learning packs, group and individual projects, problem-solving exercises and case studies. As a student moves through their course, the use of didactic lectures will gradually decrease and be replaced by more student-centred and student-driven approaches. This change in emphasis is mirrored by the move from textbooks as course materials, to a more significant use of primary research, journal articles and government legislation and guideline documents. more alternative approaches. These include written assignments, individual and group presentations, laboratory and project reports, short tests (multiple choice questions, short answer formats etc) and oral examinations. Overall, assessment is less exam-based in later years. Research The staff involved in teaching the biological sciences courses are heavily involved in research into issues related to nutrition and health. Most academic staff are research active and at any given time we have a number of PhD students. Our research is aimed at establishing sound evidence on which to base strategies for improving health, in the context of both treatment and prevention, and draws on expertise in pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry and nutrition. Our academic staff and PhD students are involved in the research in the areas of clinical nutrition, metabolism, public health nutrition, microbiology, immunology, food choice, food and drink as vehicles for essential and non-essential nutrients, and the impact these components have on health, wellbeing, and management of disease. This focus on research links in with all of our teaching, particularly in Years Three and Four, and ensures that the content of our courses is both relevant and current. A key part of any course is assessment and to this end we try to use a balanced range of approaches. We feel that there is a place for the more traditional examination format, alongside some 61 Suzanne Zaremba BSc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology graduate “I have always had a keen interest in science and how the human body functions in both healthy and diseased states. “As the end of my degree approached, I considered my options. As part of my honours project, I researched the effects of a food supplement upon the vascular system. This sparked an interest in nutrition and the concept of functional foods and I decided to study for a MSc Public Health Nutrition. “Having enjoyed laboratory work and undertaken research projects, I then decided to do a PhD to develop my existing skills, as well as learning new skills to allow me to be a fully independent researcher in the area of nutrition. QMU was offering studentships for various topics of research and I applied for a place. Between finishing my master’s degree and starting my PhD, I gained hands-on experience working as a research assistant for QMU’s knowledge exchange programme. Here, I further developed my laboratory skills in addition to learning new techniques such as antioxidant analysis and cognitive function testing.”