AC7046 - Empirical Project

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will develop you in all 4 pillars of advanced clinical practice, with particular emphasis on the Research, Leadership and Management, and Education pillars. On this Empirical Project dissertation module you will be encouraged to critically explore a range of approaches to research however emphasis will be placed on your understanding of the world view, design and meaning system that will drive your own research study. It is assumed that prior to the undertaking of this dissertation module you will have undertaken study that prepares you for engagement with a Masters dissertation process and that you will have constructed a robust research proposal that has gained or is in the process of gaining ethical approval from both the University and (if applicable) your employing organisation. In the module you will revisit and deepen your understandings of a range of key topic areas linked to the empirical research process, this will include discussion of world views and research paradigms, the research question, aim or hypothesis, research design, working with literature and theory, developing ethical codes, constructing the research sample, collecting robust research evidence, ensuring quality assurance within your research work, analysing both qualitative and quantitative evidence and writing and disseminating the research dissertation work. You will be invited to attend a series of research seminars during the module and you will have access to a named supervisor for one to one supervision work. Both the seminars and supervision will encourage you to apply the key areas of learning within this module to your own professional context and field of expertise. This will enable you to critically examine how the empirical research process will work best for your research goals and design. If you have opted to study for a specialist named award, you will be expected to explore these topic areas in the context of your specialist area of practice.

How will I learn on this module?

You will participate in this module as an active learner. The module will be built around a number of individual and group learning activities that will help you to explore the different aspects of undertaking a robust empirical research study. You will work with a named supervisor for the duration of your research project. This will involve you in 12 hours of one to one contact with this individual. The supervision work that you undertake will be focused on your research study and should follow the path of the study as it unfolds. This one to one support will enable you to explore areas of the work that are troublesome and the critical dialogue that it enables will help you to develop your understanding of the theoretical, methodological and practical aspects of your research process. In addition to supervision work you will be encouraged to attend a series of research seminars that will also follow the path of your research project during the span of your programme. The research seminars normally involve a small group of individuals from a variety of programmes who are all immersed in empirical work. This group of peers is seen to be invaluable to the social learning processes that drive this empirical research module. During each seminar it is expected that individuals will share their research challenges and successes. The sharing of understandings and experiences will be an integral part of the way in which the module helps to socially construct individual’s perceptions of their work. The module aims to enable you to develop an effective and successful research study and also to focus on your own development as a proficient researcher.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will work with a named supervisor for the duration of this Masters module. A total of 12 hours has been allocated per academic year for you and your supervisor to meet to discuss your ongoing research work. These meetings will be organised at times that are mutually convenient. The named supervisor will be your primary source of support during the this empirical research module and will normally act as first marker to your Masters dissertation. You will need to make contact with this individual at an early stage of this empirical research module and ensure that you maintain regular contact as the module unfolds. The appointment of supervisors will be organised by the programme lead of the programme you are studying. The supervisor will also be pivotal in helping you to negotiate your way through the internal University ethical approval process and the external ethical approval process should you need to engage with this. The module leader for this empirical research module will also be an important source of support during your studies. This person will normally provide the research seminars that are part of this module. Various experts in aspects of the empirical research process may also be invited to contribute to the seminar series.

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:
By the end of the module you will have:
1. Conceptualised a research topic and established its relevance to your practice area/field of expertise.
2. Defined the study proposal in terms of the research question, methodology, and methods of data collection & analysis.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
By the end of the module you will have:
Carried out an extended literature review to support and develop the research question.
3. Developed and implemented a small-scale empirical study to explore a research question.
4. Analysed and interpreted the outcomes of the study giving due regard to issues of reliability, validity, rigour, trustworthiness and reflexivity.
5. Reported the outcomes of the study in a written format for an academic audience.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
By the end of the module you will have:
6. Critically examined the ethical issues related to your project.

How will I be assessed?

Formative: In this module formative assessment will normally focus on your ethics application and/or other aspects of the developing project decided by you and your supervisor. You will be encouraged to share parts of your written work with your supervisor prior to final submission. Additional formative feedback will come from the sharing of project work during seminar discussions.
Covers all MLOs.

Summative: Assessment of the module will be by a final project report (15,000 words) in which you present the project in an appropriate academic style supported from the current literature base and accurately referenced. Different types of empirical project may require a different structure/organisation, for example, qualitative empirical projects are likely to have a longer and wordier findings section, as several direct quotes from respondents will need to be included. Efficient use of appendices, especially in the chronology section, will help keep your word count down. Guidance on the structure of the dissertation will be provided in the module handbook and discussed during the research seminars and individual seminars. Individualised feedback will be given to identify good practice and suggest areas for development. (Covers all MLOs.)


Service Improvement and Research Methods in Advanced Clinical Practice



Module abstract

This module will develop you in all 4 pillars of advanced clinical practice, with particular emphasis on the Research, Leadership and Management, and Education pillars. This module focuses on you as a researcher and provides an opportunity for the collection and analysis of primary qualitative and/or quantitative data for the purpose of answering a specific research question that is relevant and important to your practice and field of expertise. A range of research methodologies and methods may be appropriate to this work. The empirical project should aim to develop understanding of the focus of your work and may also help to transform practice at the individual and/or systems level. You will be supported in the module by a named supervisor and through the provision of a series of research seminars. Assessment of the module is by a final project report (15000 words) in which the project is presented in an appropriate academic style. this empirical research module will uphold the ethos of adult education, you will be encouraged to operate in a collegial and collaborative manner and to share and deepen your research based understandings through critical dialogue with your supervisor and module peer group.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 3 years part-time

Department Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start January 2020 or January 2021

Fee Information

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