spring 2017
HEL-8026 Scientific Writing and Publishing in Health Sciences - 2 ECTS

Last changed 22.04.2017

Application deadline

Application deadline is December 1st. Application code 9304 in Søknadsweb.

PhD students and students at the Medical Student Research Program at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway apply by registering for class in Studentweb by January 10th

Those who are admitted to the course must register for exam by February 1st.

Type of course

PhD course. This course is available as a singular course.

Admission requirements

In order to apply for this course you must be registered as a PhD student or a be enrolled at a Medical Research Programme (forskerlinje) at a university. Valid documentation is a statement from your institution that you are a registered student this academic year (this may be a Screen shot from your page in StudentWeb if you are enrolled at a Norwegian university).

For more information regarding PhD courses at the Faculty of Health Sciences go to: http://uit.no/helsefak/forskning/phd/emner

The course has a capacity of 20 students.

If there are more applicants than available spaces, PhD and "forskerlinje" students at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway will be given priority.


Recommended prequisites: The student should have started writing the first paper of the PhD-thesis.

Course overlap

Du vil få en reduksjon i antall studiepoeng (som oppgitt under), dersom du avlegger eksamen i dette emnet og har bestått følgende emne(r) fra før av:

HEL-8012 Quantitative Research Methods .5 stp
FSK-8002 Communicating Science Module 1: Scientific writing 1 stp

Course content

The course aims at enhancing and improving the writing skills of those already familiar with the process. It contains lectures, group work, discussions in plenum and individual assignments. Lecture topics include;
  • Academic Writing traditions
  • The Editor's view on scientific papers
  • Constraints for writing and structure within health science
  • Publish or perish?
  • The Pentagon Model of scientific writing and the academic language
  • Language: being clear, concise, and correct
  • Writers' block: what is it and how can it be overcome?

Objectives of the course

Knowledge and understanding

On successful completion of the course, the student should:

  • know the structure of a scientific manuscript
  • know the key criteria for good manuscripts
  • be able to critically judge which parts of their scientific work to include in the manuscripts and how to evaluate their own writing against external criteria


Skills and abilities

On successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • communicate and disseminate scientific results from health research efficiently in writing
  • master scientific writing for different target groups
  • master practical tasks on how to overcome writers block
  • respond to editors comments and rewrite manuscripts
  • critically read and evaluate scientific articles within health sciences


Judgement and approach

On successful completion of the course, the student should:

  • Demonstrate insight into the review process and the craft of scientific writing focusing on health sciences

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

The course will include didactic teaching including lectures and power-point presentations, small and large group-working and interactive discussions and feedback sessions. There will be a mixture of teacher-led and student-led activities throughout each day of the course, and students will be expected to take an active and dynamic part in all coursework. Individual reading towards knowledge assimilation will also be a requirement, and pre-coursework in the form of submitting an abstract before the course and providing feedback to other students.


Work Requirements

  • Before the course starts the student submits an abstract (1 page) on the topic of the first paper or the whole PhD project
  • Compulsory attendance (attendance on at least 80 % of educational activities required).
  • Active participation in lectures and group sessions is required. 


A written, individual home assignment (essay) (2000-3000 words), on a self-chosen topic.  The topic should be related to the student`s PhD thesis.  Language: English.  The students will be given two weeks to write the paper.

Grading scale:  passed/not passed

No re-sit examination is given as the course is given continuously.

Recommended reading/syllabus

Recommended reading (compulsory):

Belcher WL. Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks. SAGE Publications, Inc 2009.

Goodman NW, Edwards MB, Langdon-Neuner E. Medical Writing - A Prescription for Clarity. 4th Ed, Cambridge University Press 2014.

Matthews JR, Matthews RW. Successful scientific writing. A step-by-step guide for the biological and medical sciences. 4th Ed. Cambridge University Press2014.

Staw JA. Unstuck: A Supportive and Practical Guide to Working Through Writer's Block. St. Martins Press-3pl 2005.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 2
  • Course code: HEL-8026
  • Tilleggsinformasjon
  • PhD students at UiT
  • External applicants
  • Exam
  • Course information