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Home > Articles > Trauma Sciences Masters - Course Curriculum

Educational Aims of the Programmes

The aim of the courses is to ensure that graduates have acquired a broad and critical understanding of the science and practice of trauma care. Graduates will have developed the knowledge, technical skills, decision-making and professionalism to safely deliver a core set of clinical functions in the management of injured patients, consistent with their scope of practice. During the course of the programme participants will develop a critical understanding of the science of trauma, including:

  • Trauma epidemiology, types of mechanism of injury, the systemic, immunological and metabolic response to injury and blood loss, the basic processes of wound healing and scarring.
  • Ability to demonstrate a scientific and evidence-based approach to professional activities principles of initial and ongoing fluid resuscitation, transfusion practice and use of blood products.
  • The scientific and evidence-based approach to professional activities, indications and diagnostic limitations of special investigations, non-invasive imaging techniques and monitoring equipment.
  • Principles of triage, treatment priorities, techniques and evidence for use in the pre-hospital arena, emergency department, theatre, intensive-care and ward environments.
  • The principles and application of damage control strategies in Trauma and related pathologies.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of organ and system-specific injuries, their operative and non-operative treatments, and complications thereof and apply the appropriate clinical, diagnostic and procedural skills;
  • Demonstrate through reflective practice on case-studies (where appropriate), the integration of current clinical skills with new knowledge of the principles of rehabilitation medicine with respect to trauma.
  • Apply the principles of critical care, ventilation, organ support and the physiology of SIRS, MODS and other relevant pathophysiological states.

Participants will develop a strong transferable skill set and will:

  • Understand the organisation of trauma systems, trauma registry management, trauma scoring systems, clinical governance and quality assurance.
  • Understand the principles of injury prevention with the ability to work effectively within relevant healthcare systems and teams, engaging effectively with the cultural and social environment in which trauma science is practised.
  • Undertake, with critical awareness, analysis of complex, incomplete,‘cutting edge’ or contradictory areas of key research and applicable research methodologies associated with injury and shock.
  • Develop team and leadership skills applicable to trauma care enabling the application of appropriate clinical, diagnostic and procedural measures.
  • Undertake a scientific and evidence-based approach to prepare a dissertation related to the organisation of trauma care in their home country/region.
  • Work effectively within relevant healthcare systems and teams, engaging effectively with the cultural and social environment in which Trauma medicine is practised.
  • Undertake, with critical awareness, analysis of complex, incomplete, ‘cutting edge’ or contradictory areas of clinical and scientific knowledge for implementation of a research project in Trauma science and medicine

Practically, the participants will be able to:

  • Make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations for the immediate management of trauma patients.
  • Act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks for the resuscitation and management of trauma patients.
  • Demonstrate a detailed systematic knowledge, critical awareness and application of the principles of mass casualty management.
  • Synthesise information in a manner that may be innovative, utilizing knowledge or processes from the forefront of the discipline/practice and from a wide range of sources to undertake a dissertation.

Participants will be encouraged to reflect on own learning and training styles, and hence identify own training needs and personal strengths and weaknesses.

Course Structure

The Trauma Sciences postgraduate programmes are structured as distance learning part-time course taken over two years. The first year comprises a taught course culminating in a 2-week summer school on the Queen Mary campus. The second year consists of a final dissertation project.

Year One

In the first year, the programme is taught over three semesters. Structured around 8 modules plus the summer school. Each module includes the formative and summative assessment. Example lecture material is shown for Modules 1-3:

Semester 1

Module 1. Trauma: The Disease & Systems of Care
Module 2. Haemorrhage and the Response to Injury

Semester 2

Module 3. Torso Trauma
Module 4. Brain & Spinal Cord Injury
Module 5. Orthopaedic Injuries, Extremity and Vascular Trauma

Semester 3

Module 6. Critical Care & Trauma

One elective module of either:

Module 7A. Trauma Nursing
Module 7B. Burns & Wound healing
or Module 7C. Military & Humanitarian Trauma

Module 8. Research Methods

Summer School

An optional & highly popular 2-week summer school to be completed at the end of summer term of the first year of study. The programme involves a group project that consolidates learning over the course of the year and includes practical courses in prehospital care, resuscitative thoracotomy and team skills training. The summer school will take place at on the Queen Mary University of London Campus and in the Education Centre at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Prehospital simulation on the roof of the Royal London Hospital during the Summer School

Year Two

Students wishing to obtain a MSc degree must complete the second year of study by delivering the final dissertation project (60 credits). The dissertation project will be carried out independently by the student.

Course Delivery

The programme will be entirely delivered online, via online web content, video presentations, asynchronous case-based discussions and open-forum sessions. The Virtual Learning Environment of QMUL will be the platform for the programme and will include learning materials, on-line discussions, assessments andgiving feedback on student coursework assessments. This resource will also be used to track student engagement activity; course management; tutorial and pastoral support; provision of come content and linking to the content hosted on Trauma.Org.

The total notional study time for each module is calculated to be 150 hours, divided between student independent time (120 hours) and student/lecturer interaction time (30 hours). Each module will have the following approximate course structure:

  • Lectures: 24 hours of on-line lectures
  • Seminars: 8 hours of on-line interactive group discussions
  • Online and printable supporting materials
  • Individual time with assigned tutors, as required by students

Students will work together and to discuss different topics with each other in a culture of open learning. This open discussion sessions are intended to create an intellectually stimulating environment and to facilitate interaction and group relationships between the students.

Students will also have the opportunity to access the QMUL online library. This provides access to a considerable number of e journals and key reference books.


Each module in the first year is assessed concurrently through 4 assignments consisting of One Written Assignment (worth 80% of the Module Mark), and Three Multiple Choice Question Quizzes (each MCQ Quiz consists of 10 Questions and is worth 10% of the Module Mark - the MCQ Quizzes combine to comprise 20% of the Total Module Mark).

  • Critique of research literature
  • Practical assessments in the research methodologies and clinical setting /portfolio-based assessments
  • Written evaluative assignments
  • Written examinations

For the second year a Dissertation Project will be completed in order to fulfill the requirements for the award of the Masters Degree


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