The Value of a Core Research Module in the Medical Curriculum

Main Article Content

Joshua Thomas
Emily Bligh
Elisabeth Baggus
Joanne Thompson


Introduction: Application of research methods to medical research is a key skill that students should acquire during medical school. The value of a mandatory research module for students in terms of their understanding of medical research and the academic outputs that arise from the module are yet to be evaluated, especially compared to research undertaken through different avenues.
Method: Sheffield Medical Students were invited to complete a questionnaire on their thoughts of the research module, any academic outputs that arose from the module and any further research that they had undertaken outside the module. Ordinal regression analysis was used to assess for differences between groups’ answers to the Likert scales.
Results: 101 students answered the questionnaire. 72.3% of students agreed that the module increased their knowledge of medical research, while fewer students agreed that it increased their interest in research and desire to undertake further research. Undergraduates agreed that the module increased their knowledge more than postgraduates (p = 0.048). There were no differences between the type of research project undertaken and students’ opinions of the module. Students gained more academic outputs, i.e. journal submissions and conference presentations, from research undertaken outside of the module.
Discussion: This research found that students’ main benefit from the module was increased knowledge of medical research, in agreement with previous studies. Limitations of the study included gaining no information on respondents’ age and previous research experience, which may have had an impact on their opinion of the research module.

Article Details