SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2B022655
Module Leader Fiona Coupar
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject SHLS - School Office
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful completion of level 1 and if undertaking in level 3, level 2 modules.

Summary of Content

This module provides an opportunity for students to gain knowledge in research methods and a critical understanding of the impact of research in the health and social care professions. Expertise will be developed in understanding a broad range of approaches to research used in health and social care. Knowledge and understanding will be developed in relation to the principles of designing, undertaking and evaluating research. Lectures, group tasks and specialist research seminars will be used flexibly along with extensive online material to provide students with a foundation in research methods, brought to life through examples of current research projects at GCU. Students will gain insight into how research informs evidence based practice and policy. By the end of the module, students should be equipped to critique the research literature, including literature reviews, methods, results and implications for research, practice and policy.


-360 1. What is research- and why is it relevant for health and social care professionals? 2. An introduction to the different paradigms and methods used in research 3. Reviewing the research literature using electronic search engines 4. Different types of literature reviews (incl. narrative, systematic and meta-analysis) 5. Making sense of research studies; critical appraisal tools 6. The role of ethics in research and procedures involved in gaining ethical approval 7. Defining populations and sampling strategies 8. Qualitative data collection and analysis methods 9. Quantitative data collection methods, descriptive and inferential statisticsConsidering impact: So what? Implications of research for practice and policy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1.Discuss ways in which research informs and contributes to health and social care 2.Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative research paradigms, and describe a wide range of designs and methodologies and their application to health and social care research3.Describe, compare and contrast a range of qualitative and quantitative research designs and methodologies and their application to health and social care 4.Describe a range of data collection methods and apply a select number of data analysis methods5.Appreciate the importance of conducting research ethically and identify the main ethical issues associated with different research methodologies6.Critically review published research 7.Discuss the importance of research within the context of health and social care practice, policy and continual professional development.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning for this module comprises of lectures, group work and specialist research seminars/demonstrations geared towards gaining knowledge and skills that relate to the identified learning outcomes. The core content of the module will be available in electronic form (both text and narrated presentation) for timely access by students. Each element of the core content will be illustrated with discipline specific examples, linking the theory with practice. Elements of the research process will be illustrated at key points during the module with generic or discipline specific specialist research seminars/demonstrations. These will be delivered either online, or live. The link between practice, policy and the underlying evidence will be highlighted throughout the module. Examples of research evidence used to support practice and policy will be used to underline the importance of understanding of research methods as a core competency of a health and social care professional. Formative assessment opportunities and guided tasks with rapid feedback will allow students to identify learning strategies to meet their personal learning needs and assess their own progress as they work through the module. The module handbook will clearly articulate stage by stage learning activities and will be designed to assist students with undertaking and negotiating the module.

Indicative Reading

The core text is: POLGAR, S. D. & THOMAS, S. A., 2013. Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences . 6 th ed. Churchill Livingston: Edinburgh (e-book available) Recommended reading: ALSTON, M. & BOWLES, W., 2013 . Research for Social Workers: An introduction to methods. 3rd ed. Routledge: London. AVEYARD, H., SHARP, P. & WOOLIAM, M., 2011. A beginner's guide to critical thinking and writing in health and social care . Open University Press: Maidenhead. (e-book available) AVEYARD, H. & SHAPR, P., 2013. A beginner's guide to evidence-based practice in health and social care . 2 nd ed. Open University Press: Maidenhead (e-book available) AVEYARD, H., 2014. Doing a Literature review in health and social care: a practical guide . 3 rd ed. Open University Press: Maidenhead. (e-book available) BECKER, S. et al., 2012. Understanding Research for Social Policy and Social work: Themes, methods and approaches . 2nd ed. Policy Press: Bristol. (e-book available) BOWLING, A., 2014. Research methods in health: Investigating health and health services. 4 th ed. Open University Press: Maidenhead. (e-book available) EVANS, I., THORNTON, H., CHALMERS, I. & GLASZIOU, P., 2011. Testing Treatments Better research for better healthcare . Pinter and Martin: London. (e-book available) GREENHALGH, T., 2014. How to read a paper: Basics of evidence based medicine. 5 th ed. Wiley-Blackwell: West Sussex. (e-book available) HARDWICK, L. & WORSLEY, A., 2011. Doing Social Work Research . Sage: London. (e-book available) RICHARDS, L., 2005. Handling Qualitative Data: a Practical Guide . Sage Publications: London. SARANTAKOS, S., 2005. Social Research . 3rd ed. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke.

Transferrable Skills

Undertaking this module should enable students to engender a culture of research applied to current health and social care practice and develop skills in the following areas: critically reviewing literature, analysis, evaluation and judgement; critical enquiry; task prioritisation and time management; reflection on practice; academic writing.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 15.00
Independent Learning (FT) 141.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 90.00 35% Critique of literature (2500 words)
Exam (School) 1.00 10.00 35% MCQ