Continuing Professional Development

Developing Critical Appraisal Skills


The details
Developing Critical Appraisal Skills
30 credits
Level 5
No date available
Colchester Campus

As health and social care evolves, professionals are expected to look for innovative ways of improving their practice.

This module will give you the confidence to explore different approaches to research with a critical perspective, and apply it to your professional practice.

You will develop knowledge and critical understanding of the research process; explore different types of evidence; and understand the implications for evidence based practice (EBP) through use of a range of theoretical and practical critical appraisal skills.

You’ll learn to make informed decisions using evidence from research, which will give you confidence that you are capable of evidence-based decision making that you can use to underpin your professional practice

Learning outcomes

After this module you will:

  • have knowledge and critical understanding of the research process and research methods (quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods) and appreciate the implications for informing practice as part of evidence-based practice (EBP)
  • have undertaken a systematic search to identify appropriate evidence to answer a practice-based question
  • be able to select appropriate critical appraisal tools and apply these to identify strengths/weaknesses to the way evidence has been generated -including research ethics
  • make informed judgements about the implications of different types of evidence for clinical decision making as part of EBP.

Accreditation and professional recognition

Mapping to Programme Outcomes is dependent on Programme of study

Mapping to Regulatory Body Standards: N/A

Our expert staff

This module was written and has been taught by Jennie Todd for ten years; she has been researching and teaching in Higher Education for almost two decades in roles that include senior research officer and research advisor for the East of England NIHR RDS.

What our participants say

“I learned new skills, teaching was well organised, tutor was very approachable” (level 6 student 2018/19 cohort comment on SAMT)

Entry Requirements


  • Module is relevant for any health/social care practitioner currently practising within a health/social care setting.
  • CPD students would need to discuss the appropriate level of enrolment required depending on previous study/experience.


Module Outline

Face to face taught sessions for three hours a week for ten weeks.

Curriculum topics include examination of a variety of research designs (quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods) in the wider context of evidence-based practice (EBP), and the development of a range of practical appraisal skills.

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.

Assessment strategy

Submit one 3000-word piece of coursework (100% weighting, 40 pass mark).

Assessment is based on own selection of practice-based issue, search for relevant evidence and selection of appropriate research paper/s for critical appraisal.

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