Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Scientific English I

Scientific English I
Second semester
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish

Teaching staff

By appointment through email

Monica Clua - mclua@uic.es

Josh Frank - jfrank@uic.es




Evidence-based practices and professional activity in biomedical science rely on the fruitful navigation and critical reading of the scientific literature, namely the full scientific article, which is largely published in English. This course offers students fast-track access to understanding this complex genre with its dense text, by looking at the structure, function and intention of the text. Furthermore, students will be introduced to simple tools to critique the quality of a scientific article also.

The course focuses on vitamin supplementation, and in particular Vitamin D, and the relationship to disease outcomes. The course materials are designed to optimise interaction between students and teachers as the vehicle to learning the content and the language in learning to ‘talk the talk’. Knowledge and its language are inseparable

Pre-course requirements

Recommended minimum level of English at the start of the course is B1 or higher


  • To prepare and equip students with the language resources necessary to understand, analyse and present biomed research in English.
  • To give students a basic understanding of research designs.
  • To develop students’ interpersonal skills and ability to work with others in an additional language



CB3: to be able to gather and interpret relevant data (usually within their area of study) on which a critical  reflection on relevant issues of a social, scientific or ethical nature can be based

CB4: to be able to transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to a specialized and non-specialized audience


CG8: to be able to use complementary tools towards the fundamental training in the Ddegree, which will facilitate the graduate’s later job placement.


CT1 to develop the appropriate organizational and planning skills when needed.

CT2 to develop the ability to solve problems.

CT3 to develop the necessary skills for analysis and synthesis.

CT4 to be able to interpret experimental results and identify consistent and inconsistent elements.

CT6 to learn how to communicate, present presentations and write scientific work.

CT7 to be able to work as a team.

CT10 to be able to carry out autonomous learning.


CE21: to be able to apply communication tools specific to the professional environment of the biomedical sciences in English.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the metabolic processes of different vitamins
  • Synthesize evidence from various sources.
  • Distinguish between experimental and non-experimental research
  • Describe the contribution of non-experimental research to experimental research
  • Identify the relationship between a research question and research methodology
  • Identify and describe the structure and function of a full research article
  • Analyse a research article using validated criteria
  • Discern main points of a study
  • Give a clear and well-organised oral presentation of an experimental study



Monday, Jan 30: 4-6h

  • Course outline

  • Systems biology and systems medicine

Tuesday, Jan 31: 2-4h

  • The language of innovation 

  • Biomedicine and nutrition 

Monday, Feb 6: 4-6h

  • Looking at Vitamin D

Tuesday, Feb 7: 2-4h

  • Research in VTD: case studies

Monday, Feb 13: 4-6h

  • Research in VTD: Population-based studies

Tuesday, Feb 14: 2-4h

  • Correlation and causation

  • Introduction to experimental research design

Monday, Feb 20: 4-6h

  • The scientific process and the evolution of the scientific article

Monday, Feb 27: 4-6h  

  • The anatomy of an RCT IMRAD article

Monday, Mar 6: 4-6h

  • Overview of RCT features  

Tuesday, Mar 7: 2-4h

  • Article: VTD & Parkinson’s disease

Monday, Mar 13: 4-6h

  • IMRaD articles:  The introduction section of an RCT article.

Monday, Mar 20: 4-6h

  • IMRaD articles:  The methods section of an RCT article.

Tuesday, Mar 21: 2-4h

  • IMRaD articles:  The methods section of an RCT article.

  • The CONSORT checklist and flow diagram for quality in reporting.

Tuesday, Mar 28: 2-4h


Monday, Apr 11: 2-4h  

  • IMRaD articles:  The results section of an RCT article + the CONSORT checklist

Monday, Apr 17: 4-6h

  • IMRaD articles:  The results section of an RCT article + the CONSORT checklist

Monday, Apr 24: 4-6

  • IMRaD articles:  The discussion section of an RCT article.

Tuesday, Apr 25: 2-4h

  • IMRaD articles:  The discussion section of an RCT article.

  • Citation 

Monday, May 8: 4-6h 

  • Presentation skills and rehearsal

Tuesday, May 16: 2-4h

  • Oral presentation of group article. 

  • Completion of project dossier

Wednesday , May 31: 2-4h


Teaching and learning activities

In person

Course activities are based on collaborative problem-based learning designed to promote the development of research related knowledge and discussion using the language of Biomedical Science in English.  

The main project of the course is based on the reading, analysis and presentation of a full research article in small groups.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person



% of final course mark

 Tuesday, March 28: 2-4h

Wednesday , May 31: 2-4h

Midterm exam


Final exam







Course work





Presentation and project dossier due Tuesday, May 16

Group project



Attendance and participation in class form part of continuous evaluation, which is fundamental to passing the course. You cannot pass the course by only taking the final exam in any sitting.

An overall score of 5/10 is necessary to pass the course.

Should a student miss the midterm or final exam, they should present a valid justification to make arrangements at the discretion of the teacher.

Second sitting exam

Students must contact their teacher before the second sitting exam to arrange any additional tasks required.

Bibliography and resources

Pedagogical materials are based on a wide range of professional and educational resources from current scientific publications and textbooks

Mayer D. Essential Evidence-Based Medicine.  2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. 2009



Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 31/05/2023 14:00h