Upon successful completion of this module, students will have demonstrated: Knowledge:
- A comprehensive understanding of the principles of research methods applied to health and healthcare.
- An appreciation of the context of their project rationale within the body of published contemporary research.
- An understanding of how to produce a report worthy of publication in the public domain with a clearly specified target audience.
- An ability to professionally disseminate a clinically or professionally significant element of their study or its findings.
- An ability to present the selected methodology of their dissertation project for peer, clinical and academic scrutiny in an informal setting.
- An ability to be critically reflexive upon completion of their chosen research project in terms of the potential usefulness of their completed study.
Building upon the Applied Research Methods and Project Management module, this module develops the applied research capabilities of healthcare and public health practitioners by means of a substantive dissertation project which is practical in application, relevant to their current employment (if applicable) and compatible with their desired career aspirations at the time of study. Emphasis is placed directly upon the relevance of the proposed research to health care practice or public health policy and students are actively encouraged to undertake projects which will have a direct influence upon their area of interest. Students will need to rationalise their projects in terms of their usefulness, ethical stance and practical application alongside a rigorous approach to the design and methodology underpinning their work.
For students looking to specialize in secondary research they may opt to undertake an in–depth literature review and meta-analysis of a specified clinical or public health intervention or problem in order to enhance and contribute meaningfully to the existing evidence base for current practice or policy. Other students may wish to undertake a specific service evaluation or implement skills of action research in order to improve an area of practice which impacts directly upon the quality of the health care provided or public health intervention being undertaken. The dissemination of project results and findings will be encouraged throughout the module, in order that students may gain an insight from their peers into the challenges and practical issues raised in the execution of project work in practice. The aim of the module is ultimately to produce practitioners capable of autonomous critical thinking across every aspect of their role as health care providers in the 21st Century.
All work will be positioned within a clear governance framework and students will be introduced and aided in presenting their proposed projects to external ethics committees where applicable.
TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS:
Each student will be allocated a Project Supervisor who will act as a facilitator in the processes of research and evaluation that the student may propose for study. Project supervision sessions will provide a clear framework for assessing the development and progress of the project and will also provide a critical friend for the practitioner in terms of their own personal needs whilst undertaking a challenging module. The sessions will be timed in accordance with student need and will also accommodate staff needs in terms of the background preparation required to provide timely and succinct guidance in the overall management of the Project. Nine hours will be allocated to the Project, inclusive of consideration of submitted work, management and feedback.
In addition to this the Module Leader/Lecturers will provide regular research project seminar workshops (6 in total) as a means of promoting interdisciplinary learning and capacity building and these will form an integral part of the module. Informal ‘drop-in sessions’, online or on campus, may also be offered as another form of support and opportunity to raise questions or queries.
An end point formal presentation will also be incorporated into the Module, which will constitute 20% of the overall assessment of the Module. This is a means of judging the progress of the project whilst also affording the students an opportunity to build confidence and professionalism as an integral part of their project management skills. These sessions will also provide an appropriate forum for formative assessment of the progression of their project so that practical advice might
be offered at a significant stage of their work and that the culmination of their work might be seen.
Following a review of the academic literature relating to a negotiated topic, students will (under supervision) design, discuss and execute a study (not necessarily experimental). Students will analyse data using appropriate techniques and interpret the outcomes rationally. Each student will submit project documentation consisting of a project proposal, a final project report of the study and defend their work through a poster presentation. Deadlines for submission of each part of the assessment will be specified in this module guide.
The detailed key requirements of this module are listed below, all these elements will be assessed and may contribute to the overall mark:
- Regular individual supervision meetings
- Assigning an appropriate research topic and development of a research question
- Discussion and feedback on suitability of research proposal
- Advise on the design and execution of empirical work.
- Discussion of ethical issues
- Advise on procedures related to applications for ethical review.
- Feedback on applications for ethical review and research governance
- Advise on statistical analysis of the data.
- Discussion of alternative explanations of the data
- Feedback on draft of the poster
- Feedback on draft text of the final project report
- Presentation skills
- Research reports
- Research Ethics in Health
- Ethical issues in research with human participants
- Codes of conduct
- Ethics review procedures