AC7108 - Systematic Appraisal

What will I learn on this module?

This 15000 word dissertation module will focus upon a selected area of health and social practice. It was designed to let you explore and area of research by undertaking a systematic appraisal of the empirical literature. This systematic appraisal would be in an area of your choice, and reflect that of your professional practice. In doing so, you will investigate and conceptualise research through exploring secondary data. This means that you will learn about the process of searching and retrieval of appropriate literature and critical appraisal of that literature. You will also learn how to demonstrate a systematic approach to analysis, interpretation and presentation of the results. You will also need to consider ethics and how you address this within the systematic appraisal, however, ethical permissions for this dissertation are necessary however, they are also minimal.

How will I learn on this module?

You will experience a variety of teaching and learning strategies on this module with lead lectures and one to one supervision. The teaching and learning methods employed are based on a critical two-way dialogue between the student and supervisor. Peer support is encouraged through student led seminars. Students are encouraged to use other staff, colleagues and students as sounding boards for their ideas. The eLearning portal will provide extensive learning resources and be a vehicle for communication between students and staff.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported academically through regular supervision meetings and formative feedback from your dissertation supervisor. This module will have a discussion board established on Northumbria University’s eLearning portal , Blackboard. Blackboard also allows remote access to materials and aids for module students to access outside of the classroom providing a flexible approach to learning and accessible to you 24/7. Support for your learning is also offered via a 24 hour IT Helpline, Student Support and Wellbeing Services, Skills Plus to support your academic work and Ask4Help Service for other enquiries. These are all available in person at Student Central on Coach Lane Campus and online. The university library has a wide selection of materials to support your individual learning, and these materials are available in hard copy or electronic format. You will also have a personal tutor (PT) allocated to you as part of the programme overall. The PT will meet with you according to University policy.

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?

By the end of the module you will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

Demonstrate a critical understanding of systematic appraisal, implementing knowledge of the process

Conceptualise and evaluate methodological approaches to demonstrate enhanced critical appraisal skills

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Demonstrate self-direction and manage data extraction from selected studies giving due regard to issues of reliability, validity, rigour, trustworthiness and reflexivity

Define the study protocol in terms of the research question and scope (variables/factors/settings to be studied), inclusion criteria, search strategy, critical appraisal techniques, data extraction and analysis methods.

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

Systematically determine the personal values and attributes of professional curiosity and apply to the appraisal process

Enhance your communication and independent learning skills and act autonomously to produce your systematic appraisal

How will I be assessed?

Both formative and summative assessment opportunities are presented within this module.

Formative assessment: A 1000 word dissertation plan, developing a research question and focus for the dissertation including a chapter outline. You will submit the plan electronically and feedback will be given electronically by your supervisor to assist you to further develop your thinking prior to beginning the summative assessment

Summative assessment: A 15000 word dissertation of the systematic appraisal process of an area of research related to your practice. Summative written feedback will be given to you following the marking of your dissertation.


Must have completed 120 credits at level 7



Module abstract

This 15000 word dissertation module is designed to support your development by providing a deeper understanding of the systematic appraisal process of selected and contemporary literature of your choice. The dissertation is a culmination of the earlier academic work you have completed during your previous studies. Using a structured approach you will identify a research question drawn from practice and the subject area relevant to your role or speciality.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Part Time

Location City 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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