The University of Southampton

OCCT3030 Research in Occupational Therapy 3 (Research Project)

Module Overview

The module acts as the advanced stage in you becoming independent practitioner who is able to critique evidence and your own practice, and potentially add new evidence where appropriate through scholarly activity at BSc (Hons) level 6. The intention is to explore research in more depth in order to advance and consolidate your academic and research skills. You will have opportunity to build on research skills established at level 5 and to take part in (multi) disciplinary research and scholarship which underpins good practice. We believe that HCP’s should be able to confidently articulate how research informs practice therefore the module will adopt a research-led learning approach which builds on previously learnt research skills and methods, and continues to immerse you in ‘real’ research projects and/or activities. You will further extend your academic skills in the area of critical appraisal of evidence based practice in the light of your increasing portfolio of practice experience. You will have opportunity to strengthen your academic skill in problem solving, critical appraisal and writing academically. Self-directed learning skills will be enhanced through the use of a mixture of individual and groups activities and personal/peer reflection. The intention is for you to confidently manage your own learning independently and for you to make appropriate links to profession specific modules at level 6. It is envisaged that there will be opportunity to take part in and access ‘joint’ research skills activities and resources with students from other healthcare professional programmes. This will ensure that you actively link generalizable skills and resources specifically to occupational therapy practice. Integration of Service Users (SU) The experience of working closely with Service Users (SU) of all ages, cultural backgrounds and across clinical specialities is an essential ingredient to the learning and assessment of competency in all HCP programmes. In this module the topics chosen will link to work carried out in previous level 5 community projects with specific service user groups. You will need to improve your knowledge base and investigate the evidence base related to the assessment and treatment of this specific group of service users. This foundation work carried out in the previous year will be extended, as will the self-development responsibilities and activities you undertake. It is envisaged that when exploring such evidence bases that the lived experiences of SU derived from research, evaluation of practice and SU narratives will be relevant for you to be aware of and investigate. This will ensure that the profile and needs of the SU is handled in a proactive and positive manner in all your practice and scholarly activities. Multi-Professional Learning The partnership between the academic and practice arena is an essential ingredient in the development, delivery and evaluation of professionally accredited HCP programmes. During other level 6 modules you will continue to have opportunities to work alongside mixed groups of healthcare professional graduates and this will be replicated in any of the practice placement experiences that you undertake. Therefore despite this being a predominantly professional specific module, it is envisaged that there will be shared learning of some skills, shared teaching resources and that other multi-professional and/or team working experiences will have impact on how and what you explore as part of this module. In particular multi-professional learning and research may be a feature of your personal development planning activities in preparation for practice placement and your pending role as a newly qualified therapist.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the role of evidence informed practice and accept responsibility to contribute to its development in a robust, creative manner which adheres to the principles of ethical practice
  • Actively seek, critically evaluate and generate a range of information and evidence to justify Occupational Therapy practice and ensure that it is informed, current and relevant
  • Select, justify and implement research designs, methods, analysis and ethics appropriate to research in occupation and Occupational Therapy
  • Work collaboratively with peers, being prepared to support and challenge evidence from practice and wide ranging literature sources
  • Disseminate research findings in a variety of appropriate and innovative ways within (and possibly beyond the profession), including presentations, posters, community projects/activities, publishable article and conference attendance
  • Aspire to excellence in use of self as a ‘professional in training’, showing insightful integration of skills, knowledge and attitude and utilising effective methods of reflection and personal development planning


• opportunity to develop and enhance research skills in area of critique, evaluation and academic writing • compare and contrast evidence-based practice with examples that best illustrate effective Occupational Therapy practice, taking account of ethics, strength of evidence, moral issues and safe effective treatment • work within a group to carry out an in-depth investigation of an area of occupation and Occupational Therapy • personal and professional responsibilities in practice, including underpinning practice with appropriate/up-to-date evidence, presenting positive values and an appropriate professional image in preparation for the transition from student to employable, qualified practitioner • critical appraisal of personal performance and the performance of others, providing feedback to peers in a respectful, non-judgmental and empowering manner • designing and using appropriate peer feedback processes to critically appraise self and others contribution to Action Learning Sets, adopting effective recording methods

Special Features

Links to profession specific modules, community projects, placement experience at level 5/6 to further establish the relevance of scholarly activities in promoting a confident approach to exploring evidence base practice. Self-directed learning, reflexivity and peer review will ensure that all students (mixed ability) will be able to build on previous experience and take part at this level, whatever your background and experience.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The methods will include: • emphasis on developing a focussed approach to ‘tuning in’ to the module philosophy and the ‘relevance factor’ of scholarly activities • lectures/seminars to introduce generalizable concepts and processes • self-directed learning and preparation in order to make choices and present outcomes to peers • opportunity to work individually, in pairs/teams and action learning sets to complete given tasks and take part in reflexivity and peer review processes • personal and/or group activities specifically supported by experts, e.g. tutors/facilitators/practice educators • learning activities within module will be course completion/compulsory – with total control over choice of subject (could be related to current employability criteria, graduate passport, transition between student - graduate status)

Preparation for scheduled sessions35
Wider reading or practice185
Completion of assessment task40
Project supervision10
Follow-up work35
Total study time375

Resources & Reading list

Field A (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. 

Raengo A (2013). On the sleeve of the visual: race as face value. 

Alexander J, Bartmanski D & Geisen B (eds) (2012). Iconic Power: materiality and meaning in social life. 

Finlay L & Gough B (2003). Reflexivity: a practical guide for researchers in health and social sciences. 

Spry T (2011). Body, paper, stage: writing and performing autoethnography. 

Chang H, Ngunjiri FW & Hernandez KAC (2012). Collaborative autoethnography. 

Gubrium A & Harper K (2013). Participatory visual and digital methods. 

Finkelstein J (2007). The art of self invention: image and identity in popular visual culture. 

International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 

Love K (2012). Ethics in social research. 

You will be able to access coursework/content and assessment guidelines/requirements and other shared resources related to research skills through the module Blackboard site. It is essential that you make maximum use of library services to explore chosen . 

O'Leary Z (2009). The essential guide to doing your research project. 

Hicks C (2005). Research methods for clinical therapists.. 

Goodson I, Short NP & Turner L (2013). Contemporary British Autoethnography, Studies in Professional Life and Work.. 



Learning Activity and Summative Submission


MethodPercentage contribution
Article 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Article 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:

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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