AC7107 - Research Approaches and Methods in Health and Social Practice

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will appreciate the knowledge and skills needed to undertake research. You will learn about research philosophy, methodology and the different methods associated with a range of research traditions. You will explore the value of research evidence in informing health and social practice and be able to apply the principles of research to critically appraise research quality. Specifically on this module you will learn about:
• Locating and organising literature
• Philosophical assumptions and foundations of enquiry
• Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodological approaches
• Data collection, data analysis and interpretation
• Research governance and ethical issues
• Analysis and interpretation
By the end of the module you will be able to prepare a research proposal on a topic of interest to yourself and of value to health and social practice.

How will I learn on this module?

A number of different strategies are used within this module to assist your learning around research within the health and social practice setting. More formal learning will take place within lectures where you will be presented with theoretical background knowledge upon which to build your understanding. This module embraces an interactive approach to learning, so in seminar sessions you will be able to further develop your appreciation of research principles through discussion and peer learning. You will use a range of desktop research exercises to experience the stages of the research process. You will have the opportunity to experience data collection and data analysis through the use of anonymised public available data during research workshops. You will also be involved in discussing research methodology and findings with your peers during collegiate seminar sessions. You will be taught by lecturers with current research experience and who have expertise in particular methodological approaches. Your lectures will be recorded and stored within the e-learning portal for you to visit again if you wish.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through regular feedback from your tutor and peers, within the seminar and discussion format of specific teaching sessions and in tutorials. Peer review and formative feedback will be utilised throughout the delivery and during formative assessment. In addition, a discussion board for your module will be established on Northumbria University’s eLearning platform ‘Blackboard Ultra’ (BBU), BBU also allows remote access to materials and aids for module students to access (populated, managed and kept up to date by your module tutor). You will be supported throughout the programme by your personal tutor. The library also offer study skills support in the form of helpful work sheets.

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. Demonstrated a critical awareness and evaluation of a range of philosophical research approaches to enquiry.
2. Critically appraised the research literature in a specific area of health and social practice.
3. Demonstrated a systematic understanding of evidence based knowledge to critically justify the choice of a research methodology to apply to a specific health and social practice issue.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

By the end of the module, you will have:

4. Demonstrated advanced competence in the location, retrieval and management of literature from a variety of sources.
5. Identified ethical issues arising within health and social practice and strategies for their management.
6. Critically evaluated appropriate methods of data collection and data analysis for research within health and social practice.

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

By the end of the module, you will have:

7. Critically reflected on your role within the research process of global and multi-cultural public health / healthcare management issues and contexts.

How will I be assessed?

Please give details of all formative and summative assessment process indicating which MLOs will be addressed and how feedback will be provided.

Formative assessment:

There are two parts to formative assessment, and you will receive individual written feedback to inform the development of your research proposal. Formative assessment follows the structure of the module. You will produce 500 words (no more) to apply the learning in class to your proposed dissertation topic. You will be given written feedback, which you will be able to follow on in tutorials at the end of the module if needed.
The formative tasks will be as follow:
Part 1: formulate a research question linked to your area of interest and explain which data collection methods you will use to answer it.
Part 2: detail the broader research design (including methodology and data analysis) best apt at answering your research question. (Module Learning Outcomes 1-7)

Summative Assessment:

5,000-word research proposal. The proposal should include as a minimum: Background, literature review/rationale, aims and objectives, research question or hypothesis, research approach, review search strategy or project outline, consideration of ethics, governance issues, validity / reliability / trustworthiness and reflection on your role in the process.
(Module Learning Outcomes 1-7)





Module abstract

On this module you will appreciate the knowledge and skills needed to undertake research. You will learn about research philosophy, methodology and the different methods associated with a range of research traditions. You will explore the value of research evidence in informing public health and healthcare management practices and be able to apply the principles of research to critically appraise research quality. You will be able to develop a research proposal which demonstrates your understanding and critical appraisal of how to plan and undertake a research project. You will develop a range of skills so that you can use and apply appropriate research to build robust understanding, knowledge and insights on the issues that concern you. These are all key skills that are identified as important by employers.

Course info

Credits 40

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 3 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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