module specification

SH6002 - Project Based Research and Evaluation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Project Based Research and Evaluation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Research/evaluation proposal (3500 words)
Coursework 40%   Critical analysis of a piece of research (2500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module allows students to engage with the principles, theory and practice of research and evaluation relating to their own professional experience. Students will be introduced to techniques and tools in social and professional research such as surveys, focus groups, observation and interviews. A critical approach will be taken to sources of information, and to the involvement of service users and other stakeholders. Students will place research and evaluation in wider policy and professional contexts, such as performance management frameworks and quality standards.

Module aims

The module aims to:

  1. Provide opportunities to engage with different approaches to research and evaluation;
  2. Link a critical approach to data sources to the students’ own professional knowledge and practices;
  3. Place research in the wider context of policy and professional practice;
  4. Evaluate the role of stakeholders, including service users, in the research and evaluation process; and
  5. Enable students to develop a robust proposal for further research and evaluation.


  • The policy and professional context to research and evaluation
  • Methodological approaches to research
  • Primary data collection methods and sources of information
  • Evaluating and interpreting examples of research and evaluation
  • Service evaluation, service improvement and planning
  • Performance measurement and management
  • Involving stakeholders, including service users, in the research and evaluation process
  • Identifying biases and limitations in different research and evaluation processes
  • Developing a research/evaluation proposal

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through block days. Teaching will delivered through lectures, interactive workshops and small group work.

Significant elements of learning will be provided using resources and evaluation tools in a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Lecture notes and overheads will be provided on-line. This will also give students access to a wide range of materials relating the subject area and their professional fields. The VLE will also be used for student group work, exercises and formative assessment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Place research and evaluation in wider policy and practice contexts relating to the students’ professional field;
  2. Apply and interpret a range of research methods;
  3. Critically evaluate research and evaluation, and the data sources that inform these;
  4. Reflect on the  limitations and biases in carrying out research and evaluation;
  5. Evaluate the role of stakeholders, including service users, in the research and evaluation process; and
  6. Develop a robust research/evaluation proposal.

Assessment strategy

The assessment will include both formative and summative elements. Formative elements will include online tests and the submission of draft work. This will feed into the summative assessment, which is in two parts:
1. a research/evaluation proposal (3500 words)
2. a critical review of a piece of research relating to the student’s own professional field (2500 words)


Audit Commission. (2002). Performance breakthroughs: improving performance in public sector organisations. London: Audit Commission

Birley, M. (2011). Health impact assessment: principles and practice. Abingdon: Earthscan.

Dawson, C. (2009). Introduction to research methods. A practical guide for anyone undertaking a research project (4th ed). Oxford: How To Books. 
Denscombe, M. (2010). The good research guide for small-scale social research projects (4th ed).  Buckingham: Open University Press.
Improvement and Development Agency. (2006). A manager’s guide to performance management. London: IdEA
Public Health England. Health Impact Gateway [online]. Available at: (accessed January 2015)