The HALS project team are working to establish open education practices within their undergraduate degrees including the Medical Science Degree.
There are a number of university science degrees in the UK that focus on diagnostic and clinical aspects of understanding the human body in health and disease. The names of such degrees can often be confusing.
Biomedical Science is a professionally accredited degree by the Institute of Biomedical Science and contains set disciplines including haematology and microbiology to reflect the job requirements of hospital scientists.
Biomedical Sciences on the other hand might not be professionally accredited and will reflect the subject more generally in line with the research interests of the staff at a particular institution.
Making things even more confusing is the fact that at some universities, a degree similar to the above one might be called Clinical Sciences.
Medical Sciences however is different and is offered at only a small number of universities including Glamorgan and Edinburgh. Rather than focusing on laboratory aspects of diagnosing and investigating the human body, the degree also incorporates more medical subjects for example physiological measurement and patient interaction. This degree attracts students who may want to go into Medicine or medical research.
At De Montfort, because our emphasis is slightly away from having to provide laboratory training, students are offered a more independent experience being able to choose their own topics for study and assignments. We can offer much more in the way of research training which is much sought after by employers in the UK.
The HALS team are working with external partners – including Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust – to produce exciting and high quality Medical Science degree learning resources in the areas of gastroenterology and nutrition for example. On January 3rd 2012 Viv attended a meeting at the Gastroenterology Department and the gastro staff came up with several areas for collaboration.
One exciting area is the production of nutritional resources to support medical science degree teaching around the UK. Nutrition is often an under-represented subject area and at De Montfort we run a final year module on gastroenterology and nutrition. We are excited about sharing some of our teaching and assessment materials with the wider community.