SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MMB723191
Module Leader Jamie Frankis
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Nursing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

This module is designed chiefly to direct learning and facilitate independent study in relation to furthering knowledge on the evaluation of literature, research design and interpretation of data that relates to the student's field. 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 relevant analysis. The intention is for students to be able to discriminate between different research methodologies suitable to answer specific pertinent practice-based questions.


The following topics form the key strands of this syllabus which will be explored in depth: (1) A review of the research process and terminology. (2) An appraisal of comparisons between quantitative (deductive) and qualitative (inductive) paradigms. (3) Clearly identified research methodologies and the processes involved. (4) 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 (reliability & validity of tools) - proposing suitable data analysis and statistical tests - analysing data - implications of possible findings for practice (5) Purpose of triangulation (6) Critically reviewing published research studies and structured reviewing (7) The role of ethics committees

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Critically evaluate the main differences between quantitative (inductive) and qualitative (deductive) approaches.2. Distinguish between different research methodologies and critically evaluate components that comprise each method.3. Demonstrate an ability to effectively utilise information retrieval skills and plan a structured literature review.4. Critically appraise and evaluate published research that relates to relevant subject areas.5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role and procedures involved in gaining ethical approval.6. Formulate research questions and where appropriate set relevant hypotheses.7. Critically appraise the ability of different research methods to answer specific research questions.8. Devise and critically review data collection methods used in both qualitative and quantitative methods.9. Select and apply data analysis methods used in qualitative research.10. Select and apply appropriate statistics to analyse quantitative data.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is delivered either online via GCU Learn or classroom based. Students may elect to study the module EITHER online OR on campus, but may not transfer between the two. 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 / video lectures, podcasts, narrated presentations, seminars / online asynchronous 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 health and social care 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, video lectures, podcasts, narrated presentations and online self directed study content). For the purpose of maintaining autonomy, flexibility and reducing remoteness in relation to learning, each online student will be allocated to an online tutorial group of up to 10 people. Tutorial groups will meet via GCU Learn on a weekly basis to discuss activities that have been assigned to them. Module Tutors will respond to group questions placed during these sessions. Students are required to make the equivalent of at least 3 meaningful contributions online per week, where a 'meaningful contribution' is defined as 'providing a critical or developmental comment, not just a greeting'. Similarly, on-campus students will be allocated to an onsite tutorial group. Tutorial groups will meet on campus for a total of 8 weeks across the module, to discuss activities that have been assigned to them. Module tutors will respond to group questions placed during these sessions. Students are required to attend all of these tutorials. 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. Having access to a computer with Internet access is recommended and required to undertake the online version of this module.

Indicative Reading

The following is a core list of textbooks and further specialist references will be provided on the GCU Learn site. Brink, P.J. & Wood, M.J. (2010) Basic Steps in Planning Nursing Research: From Question to Proposal (7 th Edition). Boston: Jones and Bartlett. Cohen, L., Manion, L., Morrison, K. (2011) Research Methods in Education (7th Edition). London: Routledge. Fowler, J. Jarvis, P., Chevannes, M. (2002) Practical Statistics for Nursing and Health Care. West Sussex, England: Wiley. Polgar, S.D., Thomas, S.A. (2008) Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences (5th Edition). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingston. Polit D.F. & Beck C.T. (2008) Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice (8th Edition). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkie. Punch K.F. (2006) Developing Effective Research Proposals (2nd Edition). London: Sage. Sapsford, R. & Jupp, V. (eds) (2006) Data Collection and Analysis. London : Sage. Websites http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/ http://gsociology.icaap.org/methods/ http://www.georgetown.edu/departments/psychology/researchmethods/ http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/proj/res_meth/index.html http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPoli cyAndGuidanceArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4006604&chk=f3sSqN http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/qualmeth.html http://www.sosig.ac.uk/roads/subject-listing/World-cat/meth.html http://www.rddirect.org.uk

Transferrable Skills

This module will facilitate a wide range of transferrable skills, in particular: b7 working in a self-directed manner, taking responsibility for own learning and personal development and where appropriate practice competence. b7 developing study and IT skills to underpin effective learning. b7 developing knowledge and understanding in the context of a subject, which can be transferred within different contexts. b7 demonstrating critical thinking and problem solving skills in a range of situations. b7 developing communication skills, written, oral, listening, and presentational; demonstrating the ability to work as an effective member of a team. b7 developing self-marketing/presentation skills. b7 underpinning professional practice through the integration of theory with practice.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (PT) 8.00
Tutorials (FDL) 8.00
Independent Learning (FDL) 178.00
Seminars (FT) 40.00
Tutorials (FT) 8.00
Independent Learning (PT) 178.00
Independent Learning (FT) 178.00
Seminars (FDL) 40.00
Assessment (FDL) 50.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FDL) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Assessment (PT) 50.00
Seminars (PT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 50% Choice of - Empirical research study protocol (qualitative or quantitative)- OR structured literature review protocol- 4000 words each