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The University of Southampton

MEDI6082 Clinical Research Skills

Module Overview

Understanding research, the appropriate use of qualitative and quantitative methods and how to interpret results is fundamental to being able to critique an evidence base. The Clinical Research Skills module teaches you how to apply qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches when carrying out research or evaluating a service and to understand them when considering the results reported by others.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To provide you with the skills to understand how to apply quantitative research methods to evaluate the body of evidence. • To provide you with the proficiency to know when you should apply qualitative research methods and what you need to consider to implement them appropriately. • To develop the skills required to design, undertake, analyse and write up sound research. • To prepare you for your dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically assess research carried out by others.
  • Choose appropriate techniques for data analysis.
  • Examine and undertake appropriate quality checking, data manipulation, presentation and summary methods.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Compose and communicate research ideas effectively.
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appraise the value, nature, uses and limitations of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Distinguish the differences between various statistical techniques.
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Design an appropriate research project proposal.


• Types of research • Developing a research question and proposal • Philosophy & principles of ethics in human research • Developing and practicing evidenced-based approach to literature searching: summarizing data/evidence, evaluating data/evidence • Principle & practice of critical appraisal • Systematic review methodology • Chance, bias and confounding • Accuracy, reliability and validity • Types of data • Statistical concepts and techniques • Hypothesis testing • Sample size calculation • Qualitative data collection methodology • Interviews and focus groups • Qualitative data analysis

Special Features

The module will be taught at Southampton General Hospital by an international faculty, at the forefront of their respective academic disciplines and professions. Adult learning methods will be used throughout and an emphasis placed upon interactive learning, practical demonstration and the interpretation of clinical scenarios to reinforce learning. Software to support your studying, including SPSS, Confidence Interval Analysis and Statistics for the Terrified, is available for download via

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of methods will be used including lectures, active participatory methods, presentations by health researchers, e-learning/interactive tools for learning and self-assessment, computer demonstrations and practical exercises using computers, guide reading, group study and individual study.

Independent Study158
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Bowling A. (2009). Research Methods in Health: Investigating Health and Health Services. 

How to read a paper.

Campbell M.J., Machin D. & Walters S.J. (2007). Medical Statistics: A Textbook for the Health Sciences. 

UCLA Statistical Computing Resources.

e-Books. There are many e-books available from the University of Southampton library in both allergy and related academic subjects (e.g. reflection, study skills, communication skills). Access the online site:

Electronic Statistics Textbook.

Bowling, A. (2005). Handbook Of Health Research Methods: Investigation, Measurement And Analysis. 

Statistics e-learning.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment for the module provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods will be assessed formatively. There will be two summative components to the assessment i) data management, analysis and reporting of results and ii) the development and written presentation of a research proposal. The pass mark for the module and all assessed components is 50%.


Assessment of Qualitative and Quantitative methods


MethodPercentage contribution
Data management, analysis and reporting of results  () 50%
Project proposal  (2000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Data management, analysis and reporting of results  () 50%
Project proposal  (2000 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & 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:


Computer: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.

Webcams and microphones: It is advisable that students provide their own webcam and microphone (integrated or USB/standalone) to take full advantage of the online support offered during the 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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