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The University of Southampton

HLTH6221 Planning Clinical & Health Research

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to allow you to apply your knowledge of research design and research methods to develop a research proposal. This proposal might form part of preparations for research approvals processes (ethics and governance), preparation of a funding application, or development of personal research plans in clinical and health settings. This module is particularly suited to those who are planning an empirical research study for their award.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appraise the needs of funders and/or consumers of research in relation to planning research studies
  • Provide a rationale for a specific research study, supported with relevant evidence, policy and practice experience
  • Justify the design and methods chosen for the research study, including critical analysis of the methods, process, existing evidence-base or other research issues as appropriate
  • Evaluate the regulatory and practice context of your chosen research study and its impact on development of the study proposa
  • Consider potential threats to successful completion of the study, identifying appropriate strategies to resolve these issues
  • Develop a feasible plan for carrying out the proposed research including, where relevant, an assessment of your personal learning needs and development plans
  • Present your proposal and supporting critical analysis, justifying your design and methods, taking into account the requirements of the intended purpose (e.g. grant application, fellowship application, ethics and governance processes)


For this module, you will identify 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 a project required for your programme of study (empirical dissertation). 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 and training need •Future career planning • Evaluation of the context for the chosen research study, particularly in relation to recruitment, governance, ethics • Negotiation of an appropriate output • Content of the research proposal • Understanding the needs of research funders • Ethics, governance and data protection challenges • Involving PPI in your research • Team-building and networking • Budgeting and resources

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

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

Guided independent study465
Total study time500


Assessment Strategy

You must achieve a minimum mark of 50% to complete this module successfully. Your module mark will be calculated as the average of your weighted mark on the analytic essay and research proposal. However, to pass this module overall, you must achieve a pass at 50% on the research proposal.




MethodPercentage contribution
Analytical essay  (1000 words) 25%
Research proposal  (5000 words) 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Analytical essay 25%
Research proposal 75%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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