University of Sydney Handbooks - 2020 Archive

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Applied Medical Science

Study in the Discipline of Applied Medical Science is offered by the School of Medical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Specific Applied Medical Science units of study are offered at the 3000- and 4000-level.

About the major

This major is available to students both inside and outside the Medical Science stream.

This major positions students at the intersection of science and medicine, giving them a fundamental understanding of human health and the mechanisms of diseases, their diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Graduates will be equipped with the insights and skills to understand ongoing scientific discoveries, and apply that knowledge to clinical situations.

The ability to apply theory to practice in medical science is essential for professionals addressing the major global health issues, such as mental health and neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infections, cancer and auto-inflammatory disease. In this major you will learn the strategies by which medical science theory is translated into tangible health outcomes.

Through an understanding of fundamental medical science theory, you will learn the methods used to diagnose and treat human diseases, and how approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human disease are developed and tested prior to implementation.

You will learn: the molecular basis of disease; how complex data generated in medical sciences are analysed, interpreted and communicated by the healthcare sector; how well-designed clinical trials can be used to test and verify the efficacy of new procedures and treatment options.

The majority of this learning and application will occur in the real world in our medical research and hospital environment: the translational research hub at The University of Sydney Westmead campus.

Requirements for completion

A major in Applied Medical Science requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units according to the following rules:
(a) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units or
(b) 12 credit points of 2000-level MEDS coded alternative core units for students in the Medical Science stream
(iii) 18 credit points of 3000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level interdisciplinary project units

A minor in Applied Medical Science requires 36 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units according to the following rules:
(a) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units or
(b) 12 credit points of 2000-level MEDS coded alternative units for students in the Medical Science stream
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level selective units

First year

BIOL1XX7 From Molecules to Ecosystems and CHEM1XX1 Chemistry 1A.

The major in Applied Medical Science begins in first year with an introduction to biology that takes you from molecules to ecosystems and positions human health and disease in this context. The first year of the major also provides you with an opportunity to study chemistry. These subjects are foundational knowledge in applied medical sciences.

Second year

Core: MIMI2X02 Microbes, Infection and Immunity and BCMB2XX1 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Medical Science students enrol in MEDS2003 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and MEDS2004 Microbes, Infection and Immunity.
In the second year of your Applied Medical Science major you will study microbes, infection and immunity, key knowledge and skills in pathology, infectious diseases, immunology and microbiology. Alongside this essential learning you have the opportunity to develop your understanding in biochemistry.

Third year

Core: AMED3X01 Cancer, AMED3002 Interrogating Biomedical and Health Data, AMED3X03 Diagnostics and Biomarkers.
Interdisciplinary project units for Major: AMED3888 Clinical Science or SCPU3001 Science Interdisciplinary Project.
For a Minor, students choose two units from selectives: AMED3X01 Cancer, AMED3002 Interrogating Biomedical and Health Data, AMED3X03 Diagnostics and Biomarkers.

In the third year of your Applied Medical Science major you will take units of study, including one that explores all aspects of the "cancer problem" from the underlying biomedical and environmental causes, through to emerging approaches to cancer diagnosis and treatment, one that explores clinical data using powerful, state of the art methods and tools, and one that explores a diverse range of diagnostic tests and provides valuable practical experience in a number of core diagnostic methodologies.

In your third year you must take at least one designated project unit. In Applied Medical Science we offer AMED3888. Students may otherwise be interested in taking an industry and community project (SCPU3001) instead. In AMED3888 you can explore how discoveries in the medical sciences are translated into clinical practice, studying important conditions from infectious and genetic diseases and immunity. A highlight of AMED3888 is the capstone clinical experience. This is where we invite you to spend a whole day at Westmead hearing from Clinician Scientists about what it's like working at one of the largest health precincts in the Southern Hemisphere. We will then take you into the Childrens' or Adults' hospitals or research institutes to see for yourself what it's like working in these challenging environments.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, with a minimum of 24 credit points at 4000-level or above. Of these 24 credit points, you must complete a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points.

Meritorious students may apply for admission to Honours within a subject area of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies. Admission to Honours requires the prior completion of all requirements of the Bachelor's degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units. If you are considering applying for admission to Honours, ensure your degree planning takes into account the completion of a second major and all OLE requirements prior to Honours commencement.

Unit of study requirements for Honours in the area of Applied Medical Science: completion of 36 credit points of project work and 12 credit points of coursework.

Honours coursework units are AMED4101 Research Skills and Processes and AMED4102 Scientific Analysis and Communication.
In AMED4101 you will develop the core skills required to undertake laboratory, clinical and population health research. You will learn to design, execute and evaluate studies, and to scrutinise data and research outcomes.
In AMED4102 you will develop skills in the presentation of scientific data in a range of different mediums. You will also further develop your skills to critique a wide range of scientific literature, learn to critically assess the validity of scientific information, and examine key concepts in data interpretation and evaluation.

Contact and further information

Associate Professor Scott Byrne
T +61 2 9351 7308

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Applied Medical Science will be able to:

  1. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge in applied medical science and diagnostic research.
  2. Exhibit an integrated knowledge of the processes by which discoveries in medical science become commercial products.
  3. Exhibit a broad understanding of the design of clinical trials and the important roles they play in the medical research enterprise.
  4. Source, collate, synthesise and critically evaluate information relating to human health and applied medical sciences from a range of relevant sources.
  5. Collate, analyse, describe, interpret and present primary research data in applied medical science.
  6. Communicate concepts and findings in applied medical sciences to diverse audiences through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
  7. Examine the role of scientific research in healthcare practice and society.
  8. Apply diagnostic techniques and data-gathering skills to address a diverse range of health-related problems.
  9. Evaluate complex scientific challenges relevant to improving human health and develop creative approaches to address these challenges.
  10. Develop creative and innovative approaches to problem solving in the field of applied medical science research and work effectively, responsibly and safely in individual and collaborative contexts.
  11. Describe the need for rigorous ethical, legal and biosafety assessments in medical research.
  12. Address authentic problems in applied medical science, working professionally and ethically, with consideration of cross-cultural perspectives, within collaborative, interdisciplinary teams.