SHE Level 6
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MDB125034
Module Leader Chris Seenan
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Physiotherapy
  • B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally evidence of undergraduate study of research methods and/or statistics

Summary of Content

This module is designed to deepen the student's knowledge of the research design and data interpretation. The module will provide further knowledge on the critical appraisal of evidence from published literature, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, structured literature reviewing, ethics, data collection and analysis. The intention is for students to be able to discriminate between different research methodologies suitable to answer specific pertinent practice-based questions.


The syllabus includes the following: -142b7 A review of the research process and terminology. -142b7 An appraisal of comparisons between quantitative (deductive) and qualitative (inductive)paradigms. b7 Clearly identified research methodologies and the processes involved. b7 Critically reviewing published research studies and structured reviewing. b7 Procedures involved in designing a research project: - devising a research question - providing a rationale - planning a literature review and a structured literature review - using an appropriate methodology - ethical considerations - defining the participant group - data collection strategies - proposing suitable data analysis - implications of potential findings for practice. b7 Evaluate ways in which research informs and contributes to policy, practice and continuing professional development. b7 Quantitative and qualitative research methods and their application, including methods of data analysis.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to: 1. Develop and apply a sensitive literature search strategy.2. Critically synthesise and evaluate the published literature and summarise the main findings in the format of a critically appraised topic (CAT).3. Develop and define a novel and researchable question based on original and creative insights.4. Design appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative data collection methods in keeping with the research question and its philosophical underpinning(s).5. Write an original research proposal that includes reference to resources; constraints; and legal, ethical, safety and logistical issues associated with the proposed study.6. Present project proposal succinctly and with clarity and engage in critical dialogue and review with peers and experts in other specialisms/sectors.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is delivered using a combination of face to face lectures, online directed learning resources, laboratory based practical classes and independent learning. The main activities carried out by students are directed and independent study to develop knowledge and skills relating to the identified learning outcomes. The teaching and learning strategies employed include: lectures , narrated presentations, seminars, group discussions and tutorials / online self directed study to engage students in the key concepts which will then be developed through directed reading, guided activities, literature searching and student initiated reading. In relation to health and social care application, students are encouraged to reflect upon the extent to which physiotherapy provision is evidence -based and identify areas where more research is required. In addition, students are expected to critically appraise the value of relevant research literature. Formative assessment opportunities and guided tasks will allow students to identify learning strategies to meet their personal learning needs. This module will be underpinned by online content via GCU Learn (including course materials, narrated presentations and online self directed study content). Since the majority of time is allocated to independent and directed study, it is important that students have previously acquired study skills and organisational abilities in order to successfully complete this module.

Indicative Reading

-284b7 Babbie, E. (2013) (8th edition) Adventures in social research: data analysis using IBM SPSS statistics. Pine Forge Press. -284b7 Bell, J. (2014) (6th Edition) Doing your research project: A guide for first-time researchers in education and social science. Buckingham: Open University Press. b7 Bowling, Ann (2014) Research Methods in Health: investigating health and health services, (4th Edition). Maidenhead: Open University Press b7 Bryman, A. (2016) (5th Edition) Social research methods. UK: Oxford University Press. -284b7 Cochrane Collaboration open-learning material <> -284b7 Cohen, L.; Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2013) (7th Edition) Research methods in education. London: Routledge. b7 Cresswell, J.W. (2013) (4th Edition) Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches. London: Sage. b7 Critical appraisal tools <> -284b7 Edition). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston. -284b7 Field, A. (2013) (4th Edition) Discovering statistics with SPSS. London: Sage. b7 Fowler, F.J. (2013) (5th Edition) Survey research methods. London: Sage. b7 Greenhalgh, T. (2010) (4th Edition) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence based medicine. London: Wiley Blackwell. b7 Howell, D.C. (2016) (7th Edition) Fundamental statistics for the behavioural sciences. London: Plus-Kent Duxbury Press. b7 Jesson, J.K. (2011) Doing your literature review: traditional and systematic techniques. London: Sage. b7 Miller, T.; Birch, M.; Mauther, M. and Jessop, J. (Editors) (2012) (2nd Edition) Ethics in qualitative research. London: Sage. b7 Polgar, S.D., Thomas, S.A. (2013) Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences (6th b7 Punch K.F. (2016) Developing Effective Research Proposals (3rd Edition). London: Sage. b7 Sapsford, R. & Jupp, V. (eds) (2006) Data Collection and Analysis. London : Sage. b7 Shamoo, A.E. and Resnik, D.B. (2009) (2nd Edition) Responsible conduct of research. Oxford University Press. b7 Silverman, D. (2013) (4th Edition) Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook. London: Sage. b7 Silverman, D. (2016) (4th Edition) Qualitative research. London: Sage. b7 Social Research Methods - -284b7 The Campbell Collaboration <> -284b7 The Joanna Briggs Institute <> b7 What is a CAT? <>

Transferrable Skills

Students completing this module will further develop their skills in the following: Critical appraisal skills; Electronic database searching; Critical thinking and creativity; Time management: organising and planning work ; Independent & group working; Information retrieval skills; Digital literacy skills including digital scholarship communication and collaboration, media literacy, information literacy, ICT skills; communication skills; Oral & written communication skills; Numeracy & statistical analysis skills; Ethics and value management; Personal effectiveness;

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 442.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Tutorials (FT) 8.00
Lectures (FT) 8.00
Seminars (FT) 28.00
Practicals (FT) 18.00
Directed Learning 36.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 n/a Critically appraised topic
Coursework 2 n/a 60.00 n/a Research proposal
Coursework 3 n/a 10.00 n/a Research proposal presentation (15 mins and 5 mins defence)