AC7058 - Contextualising Research

What will I learn on this module?

On this year-long module you will learn a variety of key skills (both practical and theoretical) which underpin the contexts of research. These will be delivered to support / complement the other methodological / impact modules on the MRes Healthcare Professional Practice. You will be given the opportunity to explore your own research interests and potential questions, whilst developing them into a viable research project. This will then allow you to explore the contextual factors of your potential research project in a way that is tailored to meet your own methodological and research interests. It will result in the production of a proposal which can then be taken forward to the dissertation module. You will be given the opportunity to learn topics such as:
• Epistemology and ontology of research
• Developing a research question
• Project management
• Mixed methods research
• Ethics and governance
• Co-production
• Public and patient involvement
The aims of the module are to both help you to understand and develop your own research project, and also have the opportunity to carry out some of the key skills required with support of the tutor. This will help you understand the overall journey of a research project, from inception to dissemination, and enable you to experience the practical and logistical skills required to successfully complete a research project.

This module will enable you to develop the professional and reflective skills needed to be a good researcher that will underpin your future research and professional practice.

How will I learn on this module?

A variety of different approaches to learning and teaching will be taken to reflect the individual learning needs of the students, all underpinned by a flexible and constructivist approach to ensure that individual students are given the ability to reflect on their own topic / methodology of interest in developing their own project. E-lectures and structured independent learning tasks will be used to allow you access, and subsequently return to, key topics of interest throughout your project development. These will be underpinned by face-to-face seminars which will act as mini-masterclasses (sessions designed to illustrate examplars of high-quality previous research projects in the department, from inception to dissemination) and research clinics in which you will be given the opportunity to carry out simulated research tasks related to a key theme (i.e. carry out an ethical review on a proposal, experience managing a large data set). You will also be encouraged to keep a research diary throughout the module, allowing you the opportunity to regularly reflect on and discuss any arising issues regardless of the stage of your project’s development.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

E-lectures and directed study tasks will be provided to deliver academic support throughout the module. These will be provided by a range of experts within the department to ensure high quality is maintained throughout. Opportunities for peer support (including via formative assessment) will also be regularly provided.

Face-to-face seminars will also be used for two primary purposes. The first will be to allow students to carry out the practical processes of research in a simulated environment with the support of a tutor. The second will be to provide protected time at each contact to allow the students to reflect on their research development with the tutor and your peers. This is crucial as you will be encouraged to find a research topic and methodology that is specific to you, and therefore the ability to raise and discuss any specific issues (and also identify solutions) on a regular basis will aid the learning of the students. Additional support and opportunities for discussion will be made available via the eLP, alongside learning materials from the sessions themselves. Once a research topic and approach is identified, more tailored support can be made available by potential dissertation tutors via the module tutor. Additional support can also be made available from Ask 4 Help (on-line or face to face staff support), and library and study skills resources can be accessed within the library and via the library homepage.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1: Critically evaluate the theoretical and practical contexts of research within a sphere of research interest

2:?Demonstrate understanding as to how contextual factors have a reciprocal relationship with areas of practice and research methodology / philosophy

Intellectual / Professional Skills & Abilities:
1: Utilise critical reflection skills to both develop your own work and also effectively appraise the work of others

2:?Critically examine the importance of ethical and legal issues in research in general, and in relation to their own area of research interest

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

1:Engage with appropriate methodology and methods that inform a research proposal

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment

10-minute presentation detailing the research topic of interest, methodological approach and positionality of the researcher (addressing MLO: IPS&A1).

Verbal / written feedback provided by tutor and peer group

30-minute tutorial reviewing 2-page proposal plan / 2-page draft text.

Summative Assessment

4,000 word research proposal, suitable for submission to ethical review for future dissertation projects (addressing MLOs: K&U1, K&U2, K&U4, IPS&A1, IPS&A4, PVA1).

Individual feedback will be provided in written form.





Module abstract

The aim of this module is to provide you with the ability to understand and address the contextual factors which influence the research process. You will have the opportunity to become part of a research-rich environment in order to develop your own research project and the practical and theoretical required skills to carry it out. These will be underpinned by e-lectures on a variety of relevant subjects, mini-masterclasses illustrating exemplars of good practice in healthcare research and research clinics to experience simulated research procedures in a supported environment. It will result in the development of a range of practical skills, alongside the critical reflection skills which are crucial in research and can be transferred to a wide range of issues in future practice. This will culminate with the production of a research proposal, driven by your research and methodological interest, for assessment.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 Years Part-Time

Department Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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