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The University of Southampton

NQCG3116 Enhancing Practice through Critical Appraisal and Reflection

Module Overview

The purpose of this year long dissertation module is to provide you with information and support to facilitate you in undertaking a significant and substantial learning activity that will enhance your practice. The module is delivered once per year with each cohort comprising 10 taught days offered in two blocks over 15 weeks followed by 38 weeks of self-directed study with allocated supervision.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the climate and culture of the care environment.
  • Critically reflect on the breadth and quality of evidence that informs practice
  • Demonstrate the ability to search for, access and generate evidence using a range of resources to meet personal and professional learning needs related to practice
  • Critically appraise a variety of knowledge and evidence to inform practice
  • Make recommendations relevant to enhancing practice in light of your synthesis of appraised evidence


The structure of delivery and content of this module has been informed by student feedback and consultation with key stakeholders. Delivery of content will be student focussed with students as active participants in their learning. Students will engage and apply core knowledge learnt to their own practice and practice setting, making the module appropriate for all, including international students and those in non-clinical roles Indicative content – • Introduction to research, service evaluation and audit • Introduction into qualitative and quantitative research approaches • Introduction to statistics • Research methods • Research paradigms • Searching the literature using data bases • Critical reflection • Critiquing research • Policy • Governance • Ethics and ethical considerations • Service redesign • Dissemination of findings • Theory of change management • Leadership & decision making/risk assessment • Organisational culture and environment • User and public involvement in service design, evaluation and research • Overview of Structure and content of different types of project • Service evaluation/Audit – what is an audit, issues to consider before doing an audit of practice, Influencing and managing change in clinical settings, developing an audit tool • Abstract and posters – identifying an appropriate conference, conference guidelines, what makes a good poster • Research proposal – guidelines from appropriate funding bodies, budgets and ethical considerations • Looking at previous students work • Student Presentations

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Inquiry based learning will be the foundation supporting your learning whereby through critical reflection of your practice you will identify the personal, cultural, professional, political and social drivers underpinning your practice. An understanding of research concepts, methods, appropriate statistics and critical appraisal of different sources of knowledge is a key component of this module. You will learn from and engage with health-service researchers, service users, previous students, peers and managers from practice through learning resources, lectures, group discussions and workshops.

Practical classes and workshops5
Project supervision8
Preparation for scheduled sessions7.5
Completion of assessment task289.5
Total study time372

Resources & Reading list

Schmidt N and Brown J (2012). Evidence-Based Practice For Nurses Appraisal and Application of Research. 

White S, Fook,Jand Gardner F (2006). Critical Reflection in Health and Social Care.. 

AveyardA (2010). Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide.. 

RolfeG, Jasper M and Freshwater D (2011). Critical Reflection in Practice: Generating Knowledge for Care. 

Self-directed learning in nurse education: a review of the literature. ,43 , pp. 62-70.

Lobiondo-Wood G and Haber J (2010). Nursing Research: Methods and Critical Appraisal for Evidence-Based Practice. 

TaylorC and White S (2000). Practising Reflexivity in Health and Welfare. 

Revans R (1982). The Origins and Growth of Action Learning. 

Dancey C P, Reidy JG and Rowe R (2012). Statistics for the Health Sciences. A Non-Mathematical Introduction. 

Students will be encouraged to look at a variety of recommended resources (e.g. books, journal articles and websites).. 

Akister J, Williams I and Maynard A (2009). Using group supervision for undergraduate dissertations: a preliminary enquiry into the student experience. Pp. 20 77-94. 

How to use action learning sets to support nurses. ,109 , pp. 12 -14.

Fry, H, Ketteridge, S. and Marshall, S. (2009). A Handbook for teaching and learning in higher education. 

Understanding paradigms used for nursing research. ,53 , pp. 459-469.

Polit-DF and Beck CT (2012). Nursing Research: Principles and Methods. 

Self-directed learning: implications and limitations for undergraduate nursing education. ,25 , pp. 363-8.


Assessment Strategy

Formative Assessments x 3 (formative work does not contribute to the Summative assessment mark) 1. Written reflection of practice: individual feedback within 4 weeks 2. Written critique of one piece of evidence: individual feedback within 4 weeks 3. Individual presentation of project outline: individual and peer feedback on day of presentation Summative Assessment x 1 Dissertation (8000) contributing 100% of marks: double marked and individual written feedback within 4 weeks


Written reflection of Practice


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (8000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (8000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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