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Fourth Year Projects

Fourth Year Student Projects

A unique feature of the Southampton course is the opportunity for students to undertake a supervised project of original research into a subject of topical interest and importance.

We have supervised a considerable number of projects over the years. Many of these projects have had a significant impact on clinical work or on further research activities.

A general measure of project design and originality is that the project should be publishable in a peer reviewed journal on completion.

Projects generally run from October to May during the fourth year. Students apply for project allocations during the third year, and are invited to contact us, discuss matters and undertake some preliminary reading thereafter and preparatory work thereafter.

Past projects have included laboratory, clinical and audit work, and have been conducted in conjunction with other departments in the Trust, including Xray and Pathology.

Our current interests are focussed on data management and specialised audit projects in breast and endocrine surgery,

Student obligations

We take the conduct of student projects very seriously, and wholehearted commitment and effort is expected from students. The projects often make an important contribution to our academic work, and have a very serious educational, intellectual and research purpose.

There are number of important steps to the conduct and conclusion of a successful project:
1. You should understand the aims and objectives of the project, and should be able to state the hypothesis in simple terms
2. You should read around the subject, do an electronic and literature search at the outset, and collect and record the key references.
3. You should produce a framework for writing from the outset. Much of the project can be written up as you go along, leaving more time for polishing and clearing up at the end.

A standard project write up is structured to include:-
-Introduction, Aims and objectives
-Materials and Methods
-Results
-Discussion and conclusions
-References and acknowledgements
-Appendices, data sheets

If there are any unexpected problems, issues or sources of uncertainty, you should discuss them with us at the earliest opportunity.

Projects should be written up by the dates given by the Medical School. Students should be prepared to contribute further to completion of studies for publication.


Text provided by Mr David Rew, Copyright 2003


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