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The University of Southampton

HSGM3002 Research Methods

Module Overview

This module focuses on the reasons we carry out research and other forms of inquiry, how questions arise from practice, and how we attempt to answer them.

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 build on your understanding of different types of inquiry (research, audit, service evaluation, literature review) and introduce the methods commonly used to carry out an inquiry. The module begins with an overview of why we carry out research and other forms of inquiry, and how this relates to professional practice. This is followed by content relating to the principles of how we generate knowledge and the theoretical considerations of quantitative and qualitative methodology. You will also learn about the important ethical and governance considerations that ensure an inquiry can be carried out with minimal risk. This will allow you to plan and describe a protocol (whether for research, audit, service evaluation or literature review).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module involves taught sessions relating to: - the purpose of research and other types of inquiry - methods for carrying out research - how to write a protocol The module will also involve seminars to gain insight into research in your professional field. A formative assessment will allow you to design aspects of a research study related to the research of the School of Health Sciences. Individual or group meetings with supervisors will support the development of a protocol, which forms the summative assessment.

Completion of assessment task65
Follow-up work52.5
Preparation for scheduled sessions34
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Ann Bowling. Research Methods in Health. 

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


Assessment Strategy

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


Written critical appraisal


MethodPercentage contribution
Project Protocol  ( words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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