module specification

SH7008 - Research Methods for Health and Social Care (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Research Methods for Health and Social Care
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
74 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
90 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   A 3,500 word research proposal
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This is a core 20 credits module that will guide you through the stages involved in the development of a Research Proposal where you will identify, according to your programme of study, a public health topic or a health management and policy topic to develop your dissertation in the following semester. 
It is recommended that you adopt a narrative review to answer your specific
research topic/question, however, you may choose to conduct secondary analysis of
existing data, or collection of primary data to answer your research question. If you wish to undertake primary research, you must discuss this with the
module team as soon as possible, to ensure that the necessary ethical process is
completed, and permission granted within the time-frame available.
Your research question and research proposal developed in this module will constitute
your dissertation for module SH7P42 or SH7P63. An advanced version of your Research Proposal forms the basis for your chapter 1 & 2 in the dissertation.

The module aims to:

• Equip students with an understanding of quantitative and qualitative research approaches
• Provide learning opportunities in literature searching including review and critical analysis
• Facilitate the development of a research proposal in preparation for the dissertation project
• Provide a grounding in evidence-based decision making


This module covers the following areas:

• Epistemology and Methodology (LO1)
• Qualitative research methodology, study design and data management (LO1)
• Quantitative research methodology, study design and data management (LO1)
• Understanding and application evaluative methodologies (LO1, LO2)
• Sampling and participant recruitment (LO1, LO2)
• Primary and secondary research approaches (LO1, LO2)
• Development of a research question (LO1 – LO3)
• Literature search and management strategies (LO2 – LO5)
• Critical appraisal of the literature (LO4, LO5)
• Research ethics applied to the student’s area of study (LO2, LO3, LO6)
• Planning and writing a research proposal (LO1 – LO6)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module teaching is based on weekly lectures and seminar classes, where specific group-work exercises have been developed to provide students with an opportunity to examine, in more detail, some of the main conceptual and methodological issues covered in lectures.

The approach to teaching is based on facilitating the application of concepts, methods and principles to practice-related contexts, and students’ integration of learning in relation to real world scenarios. This approach to teaching aims to develop students’ ability to think critically about data and evidence, and to draw appropriate inferences in accordance with the stated learning outcomes.

The teaching methods will be complemented by students’ independent study on the module. Students will be required to read, on a weekly basis, recommended articles, or to access other relevant educational material.

The module will use our VLE – WebLearn, which is designed to support students learning providing access to wider reading and resources to help to prepare for each session e.g. websites, policy documents and articles. Recorded sessions and session notes (slides) are uploaded to the VLE to support students’ learning and to deepen knowledge and understanding after sessions. In addition, students are encouraged to use other learning resources such as the Library and Academic Mentors (to improve their writing skills). Students are also invited to attend health seminars organised by the Centre for Primary Health and Social Care, which supports their research skills and provides opportunities to understand applied health research in national and international contexts. The Centre’s annual health conference offers students an opportunity to present their research work.

Personal Development Planning (PDP) is embedded into the module and MA courses, given the relationship between research proposal and dissertation. PDP aspires to actively engage students in setting goals and targets for later reflection, and this module support this by encouraging the development of a comprehensive learning record and body of information on their personal, professional and academic skills, which they can draw upon to enhance their employability prospects. The research proposal and dissertation are inextricably part of PDP process as students specialise on a health topic of their interest, demonstrating analysis, synthesis and evaluation, with a view to enhance their future professional choices and employment.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding and evaluation of study designs and methods of evaluation and their relative strengths and limitations.

2. Develop and justify a research approach and methodology to investigate a research topic within their subject area.

3. Plan and design a research proposal which demonstrates a clear understanding of methods relevant to their area of study, and a systematic and creative approach with sound justification for research decisions. 

4. Critically appraise published research studies based on range of research methodologies and frameworks.

5. Complete a thorough literature search leading to a review of the literature relevant to their Course.

6. Demonstrate awareness and application of ethical issues in their area of research.


Reading list is available in the following Talis link: