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The University of Southampton

HSGM2001 Research Methods

Module Overview

Healthcare professionals should be able to engage with different forms of inquiry (such as research, audit and service evaluation) and understand how these can help inform practice. This module begins by focusing on the reasons we carry out research and other forms of inquiry, how questions arise from practice, and how we attempt to answer them. You will then be supported through the decision-making processes involved in developing a plan to answer a question that is relevant to your profession. With the exception of Healthcare Science/Cardiac Physiology, the plan you develop will be what you carry out in the Research Project module in your third year.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe quantitative and qualitative approaches to generating knowledge in health and social care, and show understanding of their differing perspectives
  • Discuss the features and characteristics of sampling methods, data collection methods and analysis relevant to quantitative and qualitative approaches
  • Select and review relevant information (such as research evidence) in order to inform understanding of your profession
  • Demonstrate the ability to rationalise (based on existing knowledge and/or patient and professional body priorities) how an inquiry of your choice could improve your profession
  • Apply your knowledge of quantitative or qualitative methods to plan how to answer an inquiry of your choice
  • Show an understanding of the practical and ethical issues that should be considered when undertaking an inquiry


This module will introduce you to why inquiry (such as research, audit, service evaluation, literature review) is fundamental to the role of healthcare professionals, and what methods we use to carry out such inquiries. The module begins with an overview of why we carry out research and other forms of inquiry and how these questions can arise in practice. This is followed by content relating to the principles of how we generate knowledge using quantitative and qualitative methods. This will include learning about methods of sampling, data collection and analysis and how they relate to one another. You will also learn about the important ethical and governance considerations that ensure an inquiry can be carried out with minimal risk. This knowledge allow you to plan and describe a protocol (whether for research, audit, service evaluation or literature review), supported by a project supervisor, which (with the exception of Healthcare Science/Cardiac Physiology) you will carry out in the Research Project module in your third year.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module involves taught sessions relating to: - the purpose of research and other types of inquiry - methods used in research - selecting and reviewing literature - how to write a protocol The module will also involve profession-specific seminars to gain insight into research in your professional field. As part of a formative (unmarked) assessment, you will be introduced to an area of research carried out in the School of Health Sciences; you will plan how you would answer the question presented before seeing how the research was actually carried out, giving you the opportunity to better understand the decision-making process involved in planning a project. Individual or group meetings with supervisors will support the development of a protocol, which forms the summative assessment.

Follow-up work52.5
Preparation for scheduled sessions34
Project supervision6
Completion of assessment task60
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Ann Bowling. Research Methods in Health. 

Pranee Liamputtong. Research Methods in Health: Foundations for Evidence-based Practice. 

Dawn-Marie Walker. An Introduction to Health Services Research. 


Assessment Strategy

Completion of a protocol for either research, audit, service evaluation or literature review.


Project plan


MethodPercentage contribution
Project Protocol  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Project Protocol 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:


There are no additional costs associated with this module.

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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