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The University of Southampton

HLTH6191 Planning Clinical and Health Research

Module Overview

This module aims to facilitate you to enhance your research skills in relation to planning clinical research. The purpose of this module is to allow you to apply your knowledge of design and methods to develop a research proposal, or carry out in-depth analysis of an aspect of a proposal, for a clinical research study.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

On successful completion of the module you should be able to: 1. Appraise the needs of funders and/or consumers of research in relation to your future career plans or project development 2. Provide a rationale for a specific research study, or component of a study, supported with relevant evidence, policy and practice experience 3. Critically evaluate the design and methods chosen for the research study, or its component part, including critical analysis of the methods, process, existing evidence-base or other research issues as appropriate 4. Evaluate the context of your chosen research study and its impact on development of the study proposal

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appraise the research skills and resources needed to deliver your research plan, including where relevant an assessment of your personal learning needs and development plans
  • Undertake a research planning task, using relevant supporting evidence, policy and practice experience to justify your approach
  • Provide a rationale for a specific research study, or component of a study, addressing any skills or knowledge deficits relevant to implementation of the plan
  • Evaluate the context of your chosen research task, including critical analysis of the impact of the context on your research plan
  • Present your chosen task using an appropriate format (e.g. proposal, outline grant application, report and recommendations on a component of a research study plan)


For this module, you will identify a research study or a component of a research study, that you wish to develop further. This could be through carrying out research in your clinical setting, application for research funding, application for a personal award (e.g. doctoral training) or for your programme of study. You will be required to: • Self manage and regulate your activities effectively so that you meet the aims and learning outcomes on time and in an appropriate manner; • Reflect on and evaluate the process of developing your research idea in a systematic and critical way; • Use feedback from colleagues and academic advisors constructively; • Take responsibility for collecting evidence to demonstrate learning and understanding; • Sustain your commitment to devising and carrying out an agreed research planning task . Learning group sessions will be the focus of this module. The learning group will enable you to reflect on and consolidate learning. For those students undertaking this module as part of pre-doctoral, master’s or doctoral studies, you will be expected to work closely with your supervisor and/or research team throughout this module. The learning group activity will be led by student needs. Indicative content for the group discussions might include further exploration of: • The self-assessment of research skills and knowledge and identifying development needs • Self-evaluation and reflection • Future career planning • Evaluation of the context for the chosen research study, or component of a proposed research study • Negotiation of an appropriate output • Content of the research proposal • Understanding the needs of research funders • Ethics, governance and data protection • Involving PPI in your research • Team-building and networking • Budgeting and resources

Special Features

You will be supported by the module leader, who will work with you to identify a clinical research study, or an aspect of a research plan, which you would like to explore further. Examples of learning opportunities available within the research groups might include one or more of the following: proposal writing; budgeting and resources; applying for funding; ethics and governance; data management.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Negotiated lecture content, self-directed learning, negotiation with research supervisor, learning groups, seminars.

Completion of assessment task100
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Wider reading or practice100
Follow-up work30
Total study time272

Resources & Reading list

Accredited Work Based Learning: an approach for collaboration between higher education and practice.. ,21 , pp. 597-606.

Netting the evidence A ScHARR into evidence based practice on the internet.

BMJ Search archive.

Firm foundations for more effective practice. ,16 , pp. 199-205.

Walshe K. and Ham C. (1997). Who’s acting on the evidence. , pp. 22-25.

Turning research into practice (TRIP searchable database).


Assessment Strategy

Formative: Through negotiation with the module leader, you are required to provide a brief written summary of your chosen study topic and rationale for choice of funder. Summative: Working with your module leader and (where relevant) research supervisor, you will identify a specific clinical research study (or component) for development through this module. You will present a proposal (3500 words maximum, =/- 10%) for a clinical or health research study ,or analysis of a component of a research plan, detailing the relevant design and methods, supported by evidence, and addressing any potential challenges in implementing the plan. The format can be tailored to meet the requirements of a specified purpose, e.g. a grant application, dissertation or thesis, or ethics application. You must achieve a minimum mark of 50% to complete this module successfully. 100% of the unit mark is for the assignment.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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