SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3B723327
Module Leader Kirsteen Lang
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Nursing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Completion of progression point 2

Summary of Content

This module is designed to enable participants to extend and apply prior knowledge and skills to develop competence in investigating health care problems through critical appraisal of available research. It will help the practitioner develop critical reading skills around both quantitative and qualitative research evidence to support change in practice. The module provides an overview of the types and sources of evidence which inform practice, including systematic reviews, guidelines and best practice statements, as well as consideration of patient preferences and practitioner experience. Students will work in groups to search for, and appraise a body of evidence from the literature to answer their own focused practice-based question.


Review of political and economic context for evidence-based practice; the process of EBP and its relationship to clinical decision-making. The types of decisions healthcare practitioners make. Exploration of appropriate designs for types of practice-based questions. Using a framework to formulate practice-based questions. Searching specified sources for particular types of studies. Review of appraisal frameworks and consideration of rigour issues at each stage. Ethical issues including monitoring of health care research. Principles of clinical governance and professional accountability; access; consent, confidentiality, etc. Data protection and Freedom of Information. Overview of surveys, experimental quasi-experimental, cohort, longitudinal and case study designs. Extension of skills for the appraisal of primary quantitative research evidence using framework. Types of data; measures of central tendency; measures of spread; defining correlation; defining confidence intervals. Descriptive and exploratory studies using qualitative methods. Overview of ethnography, phenomenology, and grounded theory. Extension of skills for the appraisal of primary qualitative research evidence using framework. Content and thematic qualitative data analysis. Mixed methods using action research as an exemplar. Identification of steps required for the development of clinical practice; skills needed for the process of change. NMC Domains D1 9

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to: 1. Demonstrate the ability to formulate and develop focused practice-based questions2. Explore the use of a range of methods of investigation, and their application to practice based questions 3. Critically evaluate the ethical dimensions of research in nursing 4. Discuss methods of analysing quantitative and qualitative data 5. Critically evaluate research evidence using an appraisal framework 6. Evaluate the appropriateness of evidence for integration into practice

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered either online via GCULearn or face-to-face. Students may elect to study the module either online or face-to-face, but may not transfer between the two. The teaching and learning strategy used will enable students to understand evidence based practice and its importance to improving patient care . This module can be delivered in three different combinations of lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive discussions, workshops, directed and self-directed study. The fundamental aim of the teaching and learning strategies, irrespective of delivery mode is to support the development of autonomous, independent problem solving and decision making within the parameters of their profession competence, role and employers agreed vicarious liability (or equivalent). Learning and teaching strategies will enhance student engagement, accessibility, flexibility and personalisation of the curriculum through the use of technology/digital learning where appropriate. Lecturers, service partners, users, carers and students will contribute to the authenticity of the teaching and learning experience.

Indicative Reading

Gerrish, K. & Lacey, A. (eds.) (2010) The research process in nursing, 6 th edn., Blackwell Publishing: Oxford (eBook available via the GCU library website) Polit, D. &Beck, C., (2013) Essentials of nursing research: methods, appraisal and utilisation, 8 th edn., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia Cluett, E.R. & Bluff, R. (2006) Principles and practice of research in midwifery, 2 nd edn., Bailliere Tindall: Edinburgh Craig, J. V. & Smyth, R. L. (2012) The evidence-based practice manual for nurses, 3 rd edn., Churchill Livingstone: Edinburgh Gerrish, K. & Lacey, A. (eds.) (2010) The research process in nursing, 6 th edn., Blackwell Publishing: Oxford Robson, C. (2011) Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers, 3 rd edn., Blackwell: Oxford Websites Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (University of Oxford) Clinical Evidence - medical resources for informing treatment decisions and improving patient care. <> The Cochrane Collaboration - systematic reviews of healthcare interventions <> Bandolier - an independent journal related to evidence based healthcare <> Evidence-Based Nursing - BMJ open journal assessing clinical relevance and rigour of nursing studies.

Transferrable Skills

Develop independent learning by working in a self-directed manner Develop study and IT skills to underpin effective learning Develop critical thinking, decision making and communication skills Work effectively with others Underpin professional practice through reflection and the integration of theory and practice Appreciate the need for a high level of ethical and professional conduct

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Tutorials (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 132.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Dept) 01 2.00 50.00 35% Online exam covering entire breadth of content included within the module.
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 35% Individual project based on critical review of papers answering an evidence based question - 1500 words