UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


Research Project

Students will choose from a range of cardiovascular topics that can be laboratory based, involve data collection and/or analysis of retrospective or ongoing clinical research or involve gene annotation. Where appropriate, the supervisor will have obtained ethical approval for the work, but students will be expected to write a research plan pointing out ethical and statistical issues. Deadlines for choosing research projects and writing ethics applications will be set early in the 1st term.

Modules taught in the first term are geared towards students receiving the following training:

  • Introduction to data analysis and statistics for research
  • Basic laboratory skills
  • Software packages for data analysis and presentation
  • Searching the literature using PubMed
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • How to write a scientific essay and design posters

Students will carry out the research principally during term 2 and will write a dissertation to be handed in just before the Easter holidays. All students will be expected to adhere to a series of deadlines for plan, draft and completion of final dissertation.

Code: CARD0002

UCL credits: 45 credits

Module OrganiserDr Claudio Capelli

Learning Objectives

  • The ability to plan and execute under supervision, an experiment or investigation, analyse critically the results and draw valid conclusions.
  • Students should be able to evaluate the level of uncertainty in their results, understand the significance of error analysis and be able to compare these results with expected outcomes, theoretical predictions or with published data.
  • The ability to communicate both orally and in writing complex scientific ideas and the conclusions of an experiment, investigation or project concisely, accurately and informatively.
  • The ability to manage their own learning and to make use of appropriate texts, research articles and other primary sources. Experimental skills showing the competent use of specialised equipment, the ability to identify appropriate pieces of equipment and to master new techniques and such equipment (applies to students with experimental projects).
  • For non lab-based projects, be able to perform a systematic review of a focused topic in the literature and have a good understanding of for example:

(a) key computer based bioinformatics tools related to molecular cardiovascular research and how to use a variety of online genomic databases and resources to annotate a gene of interest: or

(b) after appropriate training in a statistical approach known as meta-analysis, the student will be able to use this to assess the clinical effectiveness of a healthcare intervention by combining data from randomised control trials from independent studies.

Example research projects


Dissertation 7500 words80%
Assessment by supervisor of performance throughout the project10%
Oral presentation 10-15 mins 10%