2020 applicants
Continuing Professional Development

Postgraduate Research Methods


The details
Postgraduate Research Methods
30 credits
Level 7
No date available
Colchester Campus

We are not currently running any Continuing Professional Development modules. Please email cpd@essex.ac.uk if you have any queries.

To scrutinise the knowledge that informs evidence based practice, health and social care professionals need to be critical thinkers who are research-literate.

This module explores the different ways that health and social research is carried out, with a focus on critical appraisal, research design, data collection and analysis. The module covers qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research.

This learning enables students to embark more confidently and creatively on their own dissertations, as well as helping them to engage more critically with the research of others.

Learning outcomes

  • Critically assess the use of particular research methods in response to specific research questions.
  • Utilise appropriate tools to create a feasible, auditable and replicable search strategy for academic and grey literature.
  • Synthesise a body of evidence: integrating an assessment of quality with an appraisal of findings for evidence based practice within your own professional discipline.
  • Design and develop data collection instruments and critically reflect on their value and suitably.
  • Identify and debate the ethical implications of research.
  • Explain and carry out a range of data analysis using appropriate computer software.
  • Interpret the findings of statistical and qualitative analysis and relate this to their field.

Our expert staff

This module is taught by Susan Stallabrass, who has over eight years’ experience of developing and delivering research teaching for CPD students in health and social care. This module is taught online and Susan is aware of the opportunities and challenges online learning may present. Thus she engages in student discussions online and ensures that students feel welcomed and supported, and are able to share their experiences, ask questions and gain feedback.

The voluntary in-class sessions enable students to gain reassuring face-to-face contact through group tutorials and teaching that addresses their questions if needed.


Module Outline

This module takes place over twenty weeks with two 3 hour workshops in autumn term and three 3 hour workshops in spring term. Topics covered include: - Searching for evidence using databases. - Literature review. - Data collection – including questionnaire design and interviews. - Quantitative data analysis – including correlation and t-tests. - Qualitative data analysis. - Mixed methods research. - Use of SPSS and NVivo.

Assessment strategy

- 3,000 word literature review on a topic of the student’s choice. - 3,000 word mixed methods research proposal on a topic of the student’s choice.

Fees and funding

For more information on CPD funding please visit www.essex.ac.uk/departments/health-and-social-care/cpd/funding

What's next

For more information on what next, and how to apply please visit www.essex.ac.uk/departments/health-and-social-care/cpd/how-to-apply