Major Essay

Please ensure that you register for SPPH 529 during the term(s) that you are working on your major essay

The major essay is a 10-15 page paper demonstrating the integration of the course content and its application to a clinical research project. It is recommended that the student find a clinical supervisor for the major essay from their own clinical area. A clinical supervisor is anyone who has a faculty appointment with an academic institution.

Prior to beginning the essay, students must present a very brief proposal (~1/2 page) of the subject matter of their essay to the Program Manager, who will forward it to the Program Director to determine its suitability.

The main criterion for determining the suitability of the major essay for the MHSc is that the essay demonstrates the application of methodological principles and skills acquired in the program to a real clinical research problem.

Major essays typically include one of the following:

  • a systematic review;
  • a completed clinical research project;
  • a completed clinical trial;
  • a protocol for a clinical research project; or
  • a protocol for a clinical trial

Each essay is given a pass/fail grade by two readers. The student must receive a pass from both readers. The Program Director is the first reader and the clinical supervisor is the second.

The criteria for passing the major essay are as follows:

  • Originality. It is understood that in today’s world collaboration is necessary. However, the submitted paper must be work done primarily by the student and not mainly by collaborators. The clinical supervisor will be required to attest that the student is responsible for at least 80% of the work.
  • The essay must be of sufficient quality that, if submitted to a peer reviewed journal, it would be published, or if submitted as a protocol to a granting agency, it would be reviewed favourably.

The essay must be submitted one month prior to the University deadline for submission of names of students fulfilling the requirements for graduation. Check the University calendar for exact dates as they do vary from year to year.

Photo Credit: Martin Dee / UBC Communications & Marketing