The University of Southampton

HLTH8011 Designing, Implementing & Communicating Research

Module Overview

This module aims to provide a modern and high-level of intensive research and professional development training for all new doctoral students in health sciences. The module is designed to enable you to develop the knowledge, practical skills, and confidence required to take a research project through all its stages, from developing the original idea, gathering data to communicating the results. You will be expected to analyse and understand the workings of a health care research environment, as appropriate to your professional and cultural context, and develop an individual training plan in line with your career ambitions.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically appraise and integrate a wide range of literature related to your area of research, both from a scientific and a pragmatic perspective, and in the context of a health care environment.
  • Identify issues and translate them into questions amendable to scholarly enquiry
  • Select, critically appraise and justify research methodologies relevant to your thesis
  • Select, critically appraise and justify research methods relevant to your thesis
  • Select, critically evaluate and justify appropriate data analysis techniques for your proposed thesis.
  • Exercise appropriate ethical awareness in the planning and execution of your research
  • Develop a robust research proposal to meet the criteria for peer review and prepare for ethical approval.
  • Communicate complex concepts in writing and orally


Underpinning the syllabus is research conducted by Faculty staff, all of whom are leaders in their respective fields of research and experienced educators of adult learners. The module covers: 1. The process of developing as a researcher, including managing role transitions, identifying new networks, and using the Vitae Researcher Development Framework 2. The value and meaning of scientific research in the context of health care services and systems 3. The practicalities of doing research, such as project and time management, managing references, presentational skills, preparing for your viva, organising and participating in conferences, and data management and archiving 4. An introduction to the socio-economic and political aspects of health-related research, including funding priorities and finding research funding 5. The characteristics of a positive research culture 6. Information and data management skills, using effective search strategies 7. Critically appraising research material using appropriate tools 8. Designing addressable research questions, aims and objectives 9. Identifying research users and involving users in the research process, including individuals and families living with disabilities and ill-health 10. Research paradigms, philosophies and methodologies 11. A wide range of research designs, including randomised controlled trials, surveys, phenomenology, case study and action research 12. Basic introduction to data collection methods used in quantitative and qualitative traditions; including for example, surveys, and interviews, diary-method 13. Construction of data collection tools used in research 14. A wide range of ethical issues, including seeking formal ethical approval, contextual ethics in the field, and publication ethics 15. Introduction to the issues of reliability and validity and the naturalistic equivalent of credibility 16. The use of SPSS for Windows to summarise data and perform statistical analysis 17. Statistics: e.g. the use of quantitative data in epidemiology and population demographics, describing and summarizing data, estimation and confidence intervals, hypotheses and significance testing, determining sample sizes 18. Qualitative data analysis techniques 19. UK legislation and institutional policy related to data management and data archiving 20. Ethical issues relating to the conduct of research and research in clinical practice, including for example access considerations, data utilisation, risk assessments and Research Governance 21. Models of knowledge transfer and research utilisation, including art-based methods and use of social medial and digital platforms

Special Features

To ensure there is parity across doctoral programme with the Faculty, the structure and assessments of this module for the Doctorate in Clinical Practice students and the Research Education programme for MPhil/PhD students have been aligned. Student support The following forms of support will be available to students within the Faculty: • Research supervisors (and the research groups in which they are based); • Programme Lead; • Module leaders and lecturers; • Action Learning Groups; • Post-graduate Research Forum; • On-line resources located on the Blackboard learning site. In addition, you will have access to all the resources and services provided by the University including library research support, IT support from iSolutions, iSurvey, Researcher Development and Graduate Centre, Career Management support, International Student Support, Disability and Dyslexia Support, Students Services, and the Sports Centre.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching sessions are designed and facilitated by research active staff from across the Faculty. You will learn collaboratively and inter-professionally throughout the module. The taught sessions are shared with the Faculty of Health Sciences Research Training Programme for the MPhil/PhD programme. Active student participation in all learning activities of the module will be promoted so that you will assume responsibility for your own learning. A range of student-centred learning and teaching strategies will be employed that will include the use of workshops, interactive lectures by key experts in their field, tutor- and student-led seminars, group work, peer review, case study analysis, independent supported learning and individual supervision. Reflective journals, research log books and/or personal learning logs will be used to promote students’ reflections and personal development planning and provide a record of material that may contribute to seminars, case study analysis and the research project. To support your learning throughout the module, material and resources and course documentation and further reading suggestions will be available via Blackboard - the University’s web-based managed learning environment.

Independent Study400
Total study time500

Resources & Reading list

Field, A. & Hole, G.J. (2003). How to Design and Report Experiments. 

Punch, K (2006). Developing effective research proposals. 

Clearly, L (2013). Doing cross-cultural research with integrity: Collected wisdom from researchers in social settings. 

Costley, C (2010). Doing Work-Based Research: approaches to enquiry for insider-researcher. 

Streiner DL, Norman GR (2008). Health Measurement Scales. 

Vitae – Realising the potential of researchers.

Scott, I. and Mazhindu, D. (2014). Statistics for Healthcare Professions: An Introduction. 

Holloway I, Wheeler, S (2010). Qualitative Research in Nursing and Healthcare. 

Greenhalgh T (2010). How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-based Medicine. 

Craig JV, Smyth RL (2011). The Evidence-Based Practice Manual for Nurses. 

Robson C (2011). Real World Research. 

Phillips EM, Pugh DS (2010). How to get a PhD. A handbook for students and their supervisors. 

Brett Davies M (2007). Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods. 

Pallant, J. (2013). The SPSS Survival Guide. 

McGill I & Brockbank A (2004). The Action Learning Handbook. 

Lee, N (2009). Achieving your professional doctorate. 

Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics. 

The Field (2013) text has a companion website.

Aveyard, H (2010). Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide. 

Leech, N.L., Barrett, K.C. & Morgan, G.A. (2014). IBM SPSS for Intermediate Statistics: Use and Interpretation. 

Muir Gray JA (2009). Evidence-based Healthcare. 

Cluett ER, Bluff R (2006). Principles and Practice of Research in Midwifery. 

Law M (2008). Evidence-Based Rehabilitation: A Guide to Practice. 

Oppenheim AN (2000). Questionnaire design, interviewing and attitude measurement. 

Drake, P and Heath, P (2011). Practitioner research at doctoral level: developing coherent research methodologies. 

Morgan, G.A., Leeach, N.L., Gloeckner, G.W. & Barrett, K.C. (2012). IBM for SPSS Introductory Statistics: Use and Interpretation. 

Polit DF, Beck CT (2010). Essentials of Nursing Research: Appraising Evidence for Nursing Practice. 

National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM).

Gabbay J, le May A (2010). Practice-based Evidence for Healthcare: Clinical Mindlines. 

Somekh, B (2006). Action Research: A methodology for change and development. 

Denzin NK, Lincoln, YS (Eds) (2005). The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Doctoral milestones  (45000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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