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The University of Southampton

HLTH6225 Research methods

Module Overview

This module aims to support you in enhancing your knowledge, skills and understanding required for the acquisition and critical appraisal of research literature, and other evidences, used to inform evidence based practice (EBP) in your area of health and/ or social care practice. It also aims to support you in developing a critical and practical understanding of EBP and the main research methods appropriate to the study of health and social care. This will lead to you attaining an understanding of appropriate approaches to research design.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse the contribution of research and EBP in health/social care.
  • Identify questions/ topics relating to your area of practice and carry out a comprehensive literature search.
  • Justify the choice of evidence or appropriate research approach (s) for data collection and analysis for your identified research or EBP question/ topic.
  • Critically explore ethical issues for the conduct of research and application of research evidence to health and/ or social care practice.
  • Critically evaluate qualitative and/or quantitative research evidence and synthesise recommendations for your area of health and/ or social care practice.


Evidence in Health, Social Care and Rehabilitation The importance of research and evidence- based practice in health and/ or social care practice; ways in which evidence used to inform practice and underpin health and social care policy. Searching and Critically Appraising the Literature to Inform Research Questions/ Topics Sourcing information; searching journal and electronic sources of information; critically appraising research material from the literature to identify its overall strengths and limitations; practical experience at formulating questions for evidence based practice and/ or research in your area of interest; locating and using critical appraisal tools. Research Paradigms and designs Key research paradigms and major debates about research design and conduct in health and social care settings, including for example, distinguishing between quantitative and qualitative approaches, the notion of a continuum of evidence, and the exploration of a range of research methodologies and data collection methods across both paradigms, such as trials, exploratory studies, and surveys Data Collection Methods The main data collection methods used in quantitative and qualitative research to inform evidence based practice and issues of reliability, validity, credibility and dependability, including for example, individual and focus group interviews, and questionnaire design. Data Analysis Analysing and reporting both qualitative and quantitative data, including for example, descriptive and inferential statistics, and content/thematic data analysis Ethical Considerations and Research Governance The importance of ethical, governance and access considerations related to research in health and social care settings and the application of evidence in practice. Role of Reflexivity Reflection on self to participate in research and evidence based practice. Evaluation and Use of Evidence to Inform Practice Implications for practice of research evidence, considering service users, professionals and service provision. Study skills Writing and studying at masters level; e-learning skills; peer assessment.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered using a blended approach of small group work in Learning Sets and on-line delivery. The approach taken will be self-directed learning and will require critical reflection to facilitate professional growth and development. To support such self-directed learning, the module profile, syllabus, interactive resources and course documentation will be available on Blackboard. You will be required to engage in scheduled Learning Sets.

Independent Study220
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology. 

Walker, D. (2014). An introduction to health services research. 

Greenhlagh, T (2014). How to Read a Paper. 



Draft essay


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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