Continuing Professional Development

Postgraduate Research Methods


The details
Postgraduate Research Methods
30 credits
Level 7
12 October 2021

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

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

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

Our CPD Funding page has more information on fees for our modules and potential funding sources.

What's next

We have guidance on making your application and the forms to download on our how to apply page.

Get in touch

If you require further details about this module, including future course dates, please email