University of Chester

Programme Specification
Clinical Bariatric Practice MSc
2016 - 2017

Master of Science

Clinical Bariatric Practice

Clinical Bariatric Practice

University of Chester

University of Chester, Phoenix Health (as visiting lecturers)

Bache Hall and Countess of Chester Hospital

Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

13 months full-time, 2 years part-time

6 Years

Annual - October



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences Chester Medical School

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (2004) as identified by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher education as designed to provide and promote academic standards via benchmarking and specifications

Institute of Medicine Postgraduate Module Assessment Board

Wednesday 29th July 2015

The programme aims to: 

  • Provide clinicians and other healthcare professionals involved in the management of the morbidly obese with the professional skills to enhance the delivery of care to this group of patients.
  • Equip clinicians and other healthcare professionals with the skills to assess and manage the pre-operative and  post-operative bariatric patient effectively, including the identification and treatment of complications.
  • Enhance clinicians and other healthcare professionals understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of metabolic consequences of obesity and the scientific basis for metabolic surgery.
  • Offer the opportunity for the completion of an independent research study leading to dissertation and potential for publication.


The ability to:

  • Critically discuss and demonstrate an ability to communicate and consult effectively with patients and carers.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the legal and professional framework for accountability and responsibility in relation to clinical bariatric practice.
  • Understand the roles and relationships of others involved in caring for the bariatric patient.

MD7030, MD7069, MD7054, MD7055, MD7056, MD7057 & MD7100

The ability to:

  • Identify and use sources of information, advice and decision support, and explain how they will use them in clinical bariatric practice, taking into account evidence-based practice and national/local guidelines.
  • Practise within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility.
  • Justify, using a rationale, the decision-making process within the treatment and management of the bariatric patient.

MD7001, MD7030, MD7055, MD7056 & MD7057


The ability to:

  • Demonstrate how to assess patients needs for bariatric surgery through effective consultation, taking account of their wishes and values in the decision making process.
  • Demonstrate their ability to conduct a relevant assessment of patients.
  • Demonstrate the ability to monitor response to treatment, and modify treatment or refer the patient as appropriate.
  • Participate in decision making as a multi-professional team member.
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform gastric band adjustment.

Transferable Professional Skills
The ability to:

  • Work with and learn from colleagues in the clinical setting
  • Critical reflection and development of personal and professional practice.
  • Lifelong learning.

MD7030, MD7069, MD7054, MD7055, MD7056 & MD7057

The ability to:

  • Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
  • Communicate effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
  • Be competent in the use of IT.
  • Work autonomously and collaboratively, and lead a team.
  • Demonstrate higher literacy skills.
  • Apply an evidence-based approach and critical appraisal skills to the on-going development of the professional role and the dissemination of information.

MD7001, MD7069, MD7054, MD7052 & MD7100


A number of the modules are shared with other MSc programmes, but students will address the assignments in those modules using agreed titles/studies associated with Clinical Bariatric Practice. Students will be encouraged to complete their Personal Development Plan throughout the course – in particular using the knowledge and competency framework from the RCP and HCPC.


MD7001 The first module taken by students is split into 2 parts

a)    we explore literature searching methods, reading and writing skills through a series of formative exercises. Students chose a haematology topic for the assignment, which is agreed with the tutor.

b)    Statistical analyses and their uses are explored through a series of exercises completed during the 3 day block or in the weekly sessions.

MD7030 - the students discuss the causes and consequences of obesity, in particular focusing on type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory problems.

MD7069 and MD7054 focus on the clinical environment either in terms of the clinical practices associated with bariatric surgery or as a clinical supervisor.

MD7055 looks at the surgical management of obesity – the procedures and safety elements as well as the decisions on whether surgery can be offered.

MD7056 and MD7057 look at the patient post-surgery and look at the management of the patient immediately following surgery and then long-term recommendatiuons.

MD7052 – is the opportunity for the students to integrate what they have learnt during the year and complete a research project based in Clinical Bariatric Practice. The module is assessed by the production of 2 publishable papers – the first a review in the subject area and the second reporting the results of their research.


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
MD7001 7 Evidence Based Medicine 20 Comp
MD7030 7 Type 2 Diabetes and other Metabolic Complications of Obesity 20 Comp
MD7054 7 Clinical Supervision: An Educational Basis 20 Optional
MD7055 7 The Surgical Management of Morbid Obesity and its Associated Problems 20 Comp
MD7056 7 Clinical Management of the Bariatric Patient 20 Comp
MD7057 7 Advanced Clinical Management of the Bariatric Patient 20 Comp
MD7069 7 Assessment and Consultation in Clinical Settings 20 Optional
MD7100 7 Research Dissertation 60 Comp

Postgraduate Certificate Medical Science 

Successful completion of MD7001, MD7030, MD7069 or MD7054

Postgraduate Diploma Clinical Bariatric Practice

Successful completion of MD7001, MD7030, MD7069 or MD7054, MD7055, MD7056 & MD7057

MSc Clinical Bariatric Practice

Successful completion of MD7001, MD7030, MD7069 or MD7054, MD7055, MD7056, MD7057 & MD7100


None at present

  • Applicants should normally have one of the following:


    • An Honours degree (minimum 2.2) containing a significant content of biological/biomedical science or a relevant postgraduate qualification. Graduates without a degree in Biomedical Sciences (e.g. Biological Sciences or Life Sciences) must have at least 50% of Level 6 (or equivalent) modules in Biomedical Sciences-related subjects (e.g. immunology, genetics, human biology, physiology, microbiology, histology, biochemistry, haematology etc).
    • An undergraduate degree in a healthcare subject
    • An undergraduate Medical degree
    • Substantial relevant work experience, together with evidence of recent study or writing at an appropriate level

    Overseas Candidates should also be competent in English and have achieved, as a minimum, one of the following standards: IELTS-6.5; TOEFL – 60.

    Potential students may be invited to attend for interview

This programme complies with the credits per module and for award as recommended in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) as identified by the QAA, and with the NQF qualifications descriptions for each Level. The module descriptors clearly demonstrate the competencies expected at each Level, and the amount of student effort required. The Level characteristics as described by the QAA in the National Qualifications Framework also relate closely to the overarching characteristics of learning as defined by the University of Chester.

Although there is no specific subject benchmark statements for the MSc Clinical Bariatric Practice the curriculum has been developed with frameworks for higher education qualifications indicators for outcomes at Masters Level and the National Institution for Health and Clinical Excellent (2015).  Maintaining a healthy weight and preventing excess weight gain among adults and children 

As a result of these recommendations elements have been included on prevention of weight gain and following surgical intervention strategies to maintain a lower weight.    

The programme will be delivered by blended learning in the form of learning packages, e-mail, discussion boards, telephone contact, residential schools and workplace mentoring. The Module Texts (supplemented by set texts) will provide the main learning materials and the University intranet (IBIS), through moodle, will be used to provide the learning framework, information on work patterns, additional support materials and the platform for communication throughout the programme. Laboratory-based practical exercises which contribute to the Learning Outcomes of some modules will be undertaken within the appropriate Residential School, which will be scheduled at the start and end of each module.

Members of the Institute of Medicine have many years of experience in offering distinctive programmes of study at diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience levels. The Department has considerable experience of supporting the learning needs of mature students and of students generally with ‘non-standard entry’ qualifications. Considerable experience has been achieved with students with limited entry qualifications both in terms of academic performance and personal development.   

Residential Schools 

At the start of each module, students will attend a Residential School at which the module content (including support provision, learning materials and assessment details) will be described. In addition, this will provide an opportunity  for the delivery of some subject matter and, where appropriate, relevant practical work. Cohort meetings will also be scheduled to take place at the Residential Schools. 

Students will be encouraged to form self-help groups (communicating through e-mail, discussion boards or telephone) and these will be explained and organised at the Residential School.

Learning Packages

(a) The main learning materials will be in the form of Module Texts supported by a Programme Handbook. The Module Texts will contain a range of materials (e.g. text, articles, data handling exercises and so on) and will be augmented by on-line learning. Students will be encouraged to complete formative assessments which will be progressively developed through the weekly seminars giving valuable on-going feedback to the students as they progress.

(b) On-line learning

On-line facilities (using moodle on the University intranet IBIS) will be used to provide the following:

 ·        A structured weekly guide to the module content

·        Assessment details and guidance (e.g. on presenting the assignment(s))

·        Access to distant, appropriate websites

·        Access to Library resources

·        Access to the Discussion Board

·        e-mail links to the tutors

·        Text references.

·        Access to the support infrastructure.

 e-mail seminars 

Time will be given each week to student/staff interaction via e-mail. Students will be allocated a time slot during which the module tutor will answer e-mails concerning the module content and/or assessment.

Practical work 

Where appropriate, there will be short practical exercises set within the modules which will be performed at the relevant Residential School.

Visiting Lecturers

Visiting Lecturers will be used to support the delivery of the programme. This will provide expertise in specialist areas and will include contributions from a range of personnel involved in various disciplines of Biomedical Science.


The assessment methods employed all place great emphasis (as shown in their assessment criteria) on the learner's ability to demonstrate skills through the production of coherent responses either to problems or tasks set.

Examples include;

  • Written assignments that critically review and cite key research papers;
  • Case studies which identify and formulate appropriate responses and intervention strategies to biomedical issues;
  • Preparation of research proposals;

Specific details are available in individual module descriptors.The emphasis of this programme is placed on developing and enhancing knowledge, skills and attributes of the learner in the speciality of clinical bariatric practice and as such teaching and learning methods are focussed work-based learning, clinical skills-based learning, problem-based learning.  These strategies will be utilised in both the classroom, on-line learning and clinical setting.  

There are clinical based modules will allow the learner to be cognisant of the requirements to become a competent practitioner in the field of clinical bariatric practice. This will facilitate the student to become an increasingly autonomous learner, able to identify their own learning needs and goals within the parameters of the programme aims and outcomes, which will require the student to actively identify and negotiate specific personal learning outcomes within the parameters of the module learning outcomes. The student will also be expected to identify and negotiate acceptable methods of evidencing the achievement of the learning outcomes within their portfolio.

Self-directed and peer-learning will be encouraged throughout the programme. Student support and direction will be provided by interactive discussion and individual feedback, which at level 7 will promote the development of the critical thinking skills required to analyse practice issues.


Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner. Examples include but are not limited to assessment of practice, examinations, report writing and case scenarios.  

Knowledge and understanding will be tested through the variety of assessment strategies. Intellectual skills will be assessed normally through course work, and students will be asked to demonstrate thinking and cognitive ability through written assignments and individual case scenarios. All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national standards.

The practice element of the programme will be assessed by the practice placement portfolio, reflective accounts, and direct observation by assessor colleagues and peers.

Formative assessment will be utilised during the practice element of the programme and this will be through reviewing the practice placement portfolio and through feedback from assessor, colleagues and peers.

The programme clearly offers students the opportunity to achieve the characteristics of a postgraduate, and it is the assessment criteria based upon Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and University of Chester documents which define these characteristics:

Assessment Element Postgraduate Criteria:

Reasoning Demonstrate critical reasoning with regard to complex issues, which shows an ability to explore and develop alternative solutions.

Knowledge Critical evaluation of key concepts of knowledge. Extensive systematic reading and demonstration of insight and originality.

Theory/practice link Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of relevant knowledge and applicable techniques which are at the forefront of clinical bariatric practice.

Analysis Demonstrate synthesis and be able to deal with complex issues in an original manner.

Problem solving Demonstrate a systematic understanding and critical awareness of current and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of professional knowledge and practice.

Evaluating evidence and argument Ability to deploy accurately, creatively and imaginatively established techniques of analysis and enquiry.

Reaching sound judgements Ability to critically evaluate current research, methodology and scholarship and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses.

Communicating Excellent communication skills which can reach a wider audience. The above criteria that demonstrate the notion of a postgraduate are fundamental to the role of the practitioners working within the field of clinical bariatric practice. 

The programmes of study in the Institute of Medicine fully embrace the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The  University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students.  The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for.  At an Institute level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality. 
  • Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Institute works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
  • The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues.  Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
  • Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking and the blue sticker scheme also enhance equal opportunity to all students.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
  • All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.

All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their PAT roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise. 

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