module specification

SH7008 - Research Methods for Health and Social Care (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Research Methods for Health and Social Care
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social 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 2020/21

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

Module summary

The module aims to: -

Equip students with an understanding of quantitative and qualitative research approaches
Facilitate the development of a research proposal in preparation for the dissertation project
Provide learning opportunities in literature searching including review and critical analysis
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
Development of a research question LO1, LO2, LO3
Literature search and management strategies LO2, LO3, LO4, 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, LO2, LO3, LO4, 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 examined 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 above teaching methods will be complemented by students’ independent study on the module. Students will be required to read, on a weekly basis, recommended chapters in the core textbook, or to access other relevant educational material.

The module will be using WebLearn - guidance will be given during the module about how to best use this. It 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 and or to revise and deepen knowledge after sessions e.g. lecture notes. Students are encouraged to use other learning resources such as the Library and the Academic Mentors and WebLearn.

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 demonstrating 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

Assessment strategy

There is a formative and a summative assessment on this module.

For the formative assessment students will submit 1,000-words related to the final, summative assignment, providing an opportunity for feedback.

The summative is a 3,500-word Research Proposal in which the students:

Introduce and define a research topic and a research question relevant to their area of study
Complete a thorough search of the literature and critique relevant papers
Critique the main research methodologies and justify and identify their choice of their methods for their proposed project
Provide a comprehensive study plan


Core Text:
Bowling, A. (2014) Research methods in Health, 4th edition. Berkshire: McGraw Hill

Aveyard, H. (2014) Doing a literature review in health and social care, 3rd edition. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013) Successful qualitative research: a practical guide for beginners. London: Sage

Creswell, R. (2014) Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches, 4th edition. Holtsville: WFL

Gomm, R. (2008) Social research methodology: A critical introduction, 2nd edition. London: Macmillan.

Kumar, R. (2019) Research Methodology, a step-by-step guide for beginners. London: Sage

McCaig, C., & Dahlberg, L. (2010) Practical research and evaluation: a start-to-finish guide for practitioners. London: Sage

Mason, J. (2017). Qualitative researching, 3rd edition. London: Sage

O'Leary, Z. (2017) Researching real-world problems: A guide to methods of inquiry. London: Sage.

Punch, K. (2014) Introduction to social research, 3rd edition. London: Sage

Thomas, G. (2017) How to do your research project: A guide for students, 3rd edition. London: Sage