Continuing Professional Development

Postgraduate Research Methods (Distance Learning)


The details
Postgraduate Research Methods (Distance Learning)
30 credits
Level 7
07 October 2024

In this module you will explore theoretical and practical issues in relation to the research process, with specific emphasis on research in the musculoskeletal specialism.

You will develop the ability to understand and use relevant research literature, and acquire the skills you need to plan and carry out your own research. A defining feature of the module is that the research principles that are encountered will constantly be applied to real musculoskeletal clinical settings.

The majority of the resources you will need, and the learning activities you will undertake will be delivered online via ‘Moodle’; this is essentially a way of providing a structured set of web pages, associated resources and tools for discussion - see the separate Student Guide to Using Moodle that you have been provided with for full details.

As most students are in full-time employment and located some distance to the university, this module enables remote study using e-learning technology, (Moodle). For your study on this module you will be drawing on printed material, a variety of web resources including video clips, and data analysis software. You will also engage in on line discussions with fellow students.

For each topic, you will be asked to discuss your thoughts on specific issues with the other students. In addition to the online discussions, you will be asked to complete some activities individually in your ‘workbooks’.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the [learner] will be able to:

  1. Explain, critically appraise and evaluate a range of research methods that are commonly used in musculoskeletal research and apply these to your professional discipline, and evaluate the impact of using research to support policy and practice.
  2. Synthesise a body of evidence: integrating an assessment of quality with an appraisal of findings; drawing detailed, nuanced, well considered conclusions; and applying research findings to specific contextual issues for evidence based practice within your own professional discipline.
  3. Design appropriate research tools developing existing strategies and frameworks to collect qualitative and quantitative data and effectively utilise software to carry out either quantitative data or qualitative data analysis.
  4. Design a simple research study defining your research question and choosing appropriate methods and study groups, which is compliant to appropriate ethical standards and governance requirements.
  5. Effectively utilise software to carry out either quantitative data or qualitative data analysis, justifying decisions and creating appropriate output/frameworks and generating conclusions commensurate with the data.
  6. Present work in a professional manner, competently expressed and edited and using language appropriate to the musculoskeletal professional discipline and required ethical standards. Use appropriate citation and referencing protocols ensuring that evidence presented is proportionate to the strength of claims made.

Entry Requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language we require an IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 450/200.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.


Module Outline

This module will help you to develop rigorous critical appraisal skills to support research in musculoskeletal medicine.

You will be required to apply a rich understanding of research in order to develop data collection tools and undertake data analysis.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Fees and funding

If you have any questions about the module fees please email

In the first instance approach your Education Liaison Manager to see if funding can be secured via the organisation you are working for.

What's next

To apply for an individual module please complete the module application form (.docx) and email to for the attention of Sophie Young.

Get in touch

If you have any queries about our SRES CPD modules please email our MSK team