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HLTH6200 Design & Methods for Clinical and Health Research

Module Overview

This module is suitable for students who are planning to conduct an empirical project for their dissertation, those who work in clinical and health research settings and those who wish to develop their knowledge and understanding of design and methods for clinical and health research. It forms a basis for other research modules comprising the MRes programme. Learning is shared with the doctoral training programme. Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to: LO1. 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 LO2. Identify questions or topics relating to your area of practice and carry out a comprehensive literature search LO3. Demonstrate an understanding of relevant research design and methods through critical appraisal of selected literature LO4. Critically evaluate relevant research evidence and synthesise recommendations for your area of research or practice LO5. Identify and justify appropriate and feasible research question(s).

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of the module are: This module aims to provide training in research design and methods for students embarking on an empirical research project in health sciences. The module is designed to enable you to develop knowledge and understanding of research design and methods and apply these to critique of the literature and generating research questions.

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 questions or topics relating to your area of practice and carry out a comprehensive literature search
  • Demonstrate an understanding of relevant research design and methods through critical appraisal of selected literature
  • Critically evaluate relevant research evidence and synthesise recommendations for your area of research or practice
  • Identify and justify appropriate and feasible research question(s).

Syllabus

The value and meaning of scientific research in the context of health care services and systems 2. Information and data management skills, including using effective search strategies 3. Critically appraising research material using appropriate tools 4. Designing research questions, aims and objectives; 5. Research paradigms, philosophies and methodologies; 6. A wide range of research designs, for example randomised controlled trials, complex intervention studies, surveys, economic evaluation, phenomenology, case study and action research 7. Introduction to data collection methods used in quantitative and qualitative traditions; including for example, surveys, use of routine data, physiological measurement, interviews, diary-method 8. Construction of data collection tools used in research; 9. Introduction to the issues of reliability and validity and the naturalistic equivalent of credibility 10. Introduction to data protection and data management 11. Introduction to 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; 12. Qualitative data analysis techniques; 13. Introduction to ethical principles relating to the conduct of research and research in clinical practice.

Special Features

Student support The following forms of support will be available to students within the Faculty: • Programme Lead for those registered on specific programmes; • Module leaders and lecturers; • 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, Enabling Services, Student Services, and the Sports Centre. This module is designed for students who will do an empirical research project. This module is therefore core for the MRes. Learning is shared with the doctoral training programme. Students from other programmes or requesting this for CPD will need agreement from the MRes Programme Lead. MRes students will be given priority if places are limited.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching sessions are designed and facilitated by research active staff from across the School. You will learn collaboratively and inter-professionally throughout the module. The taught sessions are shared with students from the MRes and the doctoral training 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, for example: workshops, interactive lectures by key experts in their field, tutor- and student-led seminars, independent supported learning and individual supervision. To support your learning throughout the module, learning materials, resources and course documentation and further reading suggestions will be available via Blackboard - the University’s web-based managed learning environment.

TypeHours
Teaching35
Independent Study215
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Greenhalgh T (2010). The Basics of Evidence-based Medicine. 

Pope C & Mays N (2006). Qualitative research in health care. 

Kirkwood BR & Sterne JAC (2003). Essential Medical Statistics. 

Aveyard H (2014). Doing a literature review in health and social care. 

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

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

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

The formative assessment will comprise a short written summary detailing the choice of topic for review and the rationale for this in relation to clinical/health research. Completion of the summative assessment for this module, as follows: You will identify a topic relevant to a specified clinical or practice context and carry out a literature search on this topic. You will produce a literature review which critiques current evidence in your chosen area and use this to develop and justify a research question/questions emerging from your review. The review should be 3,500 words +/-10%. Feedback Method For the formative assessment, students will receive brief e-mail feedback on their assignment plan/extract from the module leader, in line with the policy on reading drafts. For the summative assignment, detailed written feedback highlighting strengths of the assignment and areas for development will be provided by the marker. A pass mark of 50% must be achieved in this summative assessment to successfully complete this module.

Formative

Written summary

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical review  (3500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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