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The University of Southampton

HMPR3001 Doing Research in Healthcare 3: Research Project

Module Overview

The aim of the dissertation is to encourage students to think and work like practising health service researchers by conducting a piece of small-scale research or designing and writing a large grant proposal under academic guidance. The module builds on the skills developed at Levels 1 and 2. Unlike the research modules taken in Years 1 and 2, in this module you will be required to extend your skills of researching independently, developing the research focus and question for yourself with the support of your research mentor.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims


Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Locate, read and critically evaluate appropriate literature sources (theoretical and substantive) in relation to your chosen area of health services research.
  • Manage your time efficiently and effectively in carrying out an independent investigation.
  • Collect, analyse, and interpret your data in relation to the wider body of relevant research literature.
  • Demonstrate the research skills involved in formulating a research question.
  • Present your literature review in accordance with the prescribed format.
  • Develop an appropriate methodology to address your question.
  • Understand the ethical issues associated with your research and how to address them.
  • Demonstrate the skills needed to undertake the research project in accordance with the more specific criteria detailed below.
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your own and other related research.
  • Assess the impact of your project on health system design and delivery.
  • Present a coherent account of your research project.


This module takes the format of independent research. The research focus will relate to your mentors specific expertise and consider a current issue in healthcare system design and delivery. During this module you will: 1. Carry out a review of the literature in an area of health services research. 2. Formulate your own research question based on theory and research to address gaps identified by your literature review. 3. Write up your literature review. 4. Identify a strategy to answer the research questions by developing an appropriate methodology. 5. Identify and develop appropriate strategies to deal with ethical and risk issues presented by the proposed research. 6. Undertake the work necessary to complete the type of research project selected. 7. Report your project in accordance with prescribed format. The context of mentor meetings will be determined by the research focus and type of project selected. Early on you will focus on aspects of the literature review, research question development, early discussions about methodological approaches and ethical issues presented by the research. Activities as you progress will be determined by the type of project selected in accordance with achievement of the project learning outcomes. Mentor meetings will be supported by four research workshops (two in each semester) where students will engage in facilitating discussions about how to manage and write up their project.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

In this module independent study is supported by a research mentor. Mentors are assigned as you identify your research question and meet with students across the dissertation. In addition, learning is supported by research workshops (2 * 2 hours in each semester).

Completion of assessment task359
Project supervision4
Practical classes and workshops12
Total study time375

Resources & Reading list

Muir-Gray, J.A. (2009). Evidence Based Healthcare. 

Robson, C (2011). Real World Research Third Edition. 

Bowling, A. (2009). Research Methods in Health: investigating health and health services. 

Greenhalgh, T. (2006). How to Read a Paper: the basics of evidence based medicine. 

Polgar, s. and Thomas, S (2008). Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences. 

Davies, M.B. (2007). Doing a Successful Research Project: Using quantitative or qualitative methods. 

Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (2005). Handbook of Qualitative Research. 

Gough, D., Oliver, S. and Thomas, J. (2012). An Introduction to Systematic Reviews. 


Assessment Strategy

Formative Assessment Formative assessment activities and subsequent feedback will be a key component of supervisory meetings. This might involve presenting your ideas verbally or in written form. This formative assessment is designed to ensure that you can move forward in your learning and so support the successful completion of your summative assessments. Summative Assessments A standard dissertation 10,000 words maximum


Supervisor's evaluation


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (10000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (10000 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

You will be responsible for any costs associated with your dissertation. These will vary dependent on your research project but may include the costs of copying research materials such as questionnaires, travel to data collection sites, postage if surveys sent through post. Students are advised to think about the costs associated with their dissertation topic and data collection method as part of developing their proposal

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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