Research Methods (SCC120)

10 credits

Aim of this module

The overall aim of this module is to ensure that the trainee has the knowledge, skills and experience of the role of research, development and innovation in the NHS in improving patient care, including prevention, diagnostics,  treatment and service delivery. On completion of this module and the research project, trainees should be able to generate ideas; assess, plan, conduct, evaluate, interpret and report research and innovation projects, which includes original research; and disseminate the findings and, where appropriate, the adoption of the findings. Trainees should also be able to use research to improve practice.

  1. Undertake an evidence-based literature review, critically appraise the output, draw appropriate conclusions and report the findings, and where appropriate, use the findings to inform a research project. 
  2. Identify, discuss and critically evaluate a research, innovation or audit project that has resulted in an improvement in patient care, diagnostics or service delivery. 
This module has no work-based competencies.
This module has no work-based assessments.

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss and critically evaluate the context within which research, development, innovation and audit are undertaken to improve patient care, promote innovation and improve service delivery.
  2. Describe, compare and contrast a range of research methods/approaches, including cohort studies, qualitative, quantitative, systematic review, sampling techniques and clinical trials.
  3. Explain and justify current UK ethical and governance frameworks and processes spanning the conduct of human and animal research, innovation and audit.
  4. Critically evaluate the literature/evidence base to identify a research question and create a new approach or technique to improve patient care or service delivery.
  5. Discuss and justify the research, audit and innovation process from idea generation to dissemination/implementation, including patient/user involvement and intellectual property.
  6. Describe and evaluate a range of data analysis techniques to ensure the validity, reliability and appropriateness to the research aim, design and conclusion.
  7. Describe how clinical guidelines are produced and the concept of evidence- based practice, including the role of current statutory and advisory regulatory bodies. 
  8. Identify potential sources of research and innovation funding for healthcare science/Clinical Scientists. 

Indicative Content

Research methods/approaches

  • Differentiation between audit and research
  • Cohort studies
  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative
  • Systematic review
  • Meta-analysis
  • Sampling techniques
  • Clinical trials (pre-clinical to translational)
  • Epidemiological studies
  • Study design
  • Hypothesis generation and testing

Ethical and governance research frameworks

  • Good Clinical Practice (GCP)
  • Human research
  • Animal research
  • Innovation
  • Audit

Research, audit and innovation process

  • Literature searching and referencing
  • Innovation pathway (Invention, Evaluation, Adoption and Diffusion)
  • Idea generation
  • Patient/user involvement
  • Peer/expert review
  • Practical and financial criteria and constraints affecting research
  • Dissemination/implementation
  • Intellectual property
  • Quality assurance
  • Monitoring and reporting
  • Archiving
  • Roles and responsibilities of the research/innovation team

Data analysis techniques

  • Data validity, reliability and appropriateness
  • Application and interpretation of statistical techniques
  • Power calculations
  • Intention-to-treat analyses

Clinical guidelines

  • Evidence-based practice
  • Statutory and advisory regulatory bodies

Research and innovation funding

  • Sources of funding including research councils and charities
  • Grant applications