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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Nursing Studies

Postgraduate Course: Research Methods in Health (Online) (NUST11118)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis online research course aims at introducing students to a range of research methodologies and methods as they are used in health-related subjects. The course aims at students from different disciplinary backgrounds and is suitable for students that are new to research.

The course introduces students to key principles in research design and strategy, including topics such as: developing a research question, theoretical and epistemological foundations in research, observational and experimental study designs, qualitative study designs, systemic literature review as well as ethical principles and considerations in research.

This course is a Master level course and is taught on SCQF level 11.

Whilst this course is primarily aimed at Master students within health subjects (e.g. nursing, psychology, counselling), it may also be an attractive alternative course for students from other disciplines interested in health-related research as well as new PhD students.

The course is a compulsory course for all students on the PG Cert - Neurological Rehabilitation and Care.
Course description This Semester 1 online foundation course on Research methods in health aims to introduce students to a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and their methods.

The course will introduce students to a range of research methodologies and the key principles when designing research. The course will cover quantitative and qualitative methodologies hence offering students a rounded experiences of research development in health-related disciplines.

The following topic will be covered:

- identifying and formulating a research question
- epistemological and theoretical perspectives that underline methodological choices
- ethical considerations when designing research
- the decisions that need to be made in justifying methodological and method(s) choices.
- And the introduction to key quantitative and qualitative study designs

The assessments for this course consist of (1) the development of a research question and its justification (2500 words, 70% of marks) and (2) a Multiple Choice Test (30%) testing basic competencies of research approaches. Part of this assessment is the systemic search of the literature, including the production of a PRISMA flow chart to aid transparency of the literature search and decision making.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 30 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The development of a research question and its justification - 2500 words = 70%
Multiple Choice Test = 30%.
Feedback Formative Assessment:
Systematically conducted literature search with a 500-1000 words written report on how this literature search was conducted, including the production of a Prisma flow diagram. Students can conduct this search on a topic of their interest but NOT on the topic for their summative assignment.

Students will be introduced to using the Library system for online searching.

Feedback for summative assignment given within 20 working days of submission as per University regulations.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of research in health related disciplines for their evidence based practice delivery.
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of how feasible research questions are developed, including the appreciation of alternative research approaches.
  3. Understand and critically reflect on the importance of searching the literature systematically, including the development of a search strategy and its justification.
  4. Understand the significance of different theoretical and epistemological positions in research and its application to research (e.g. research design, methodological and analytical choices).
  5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of ethical principles and how these apply to health-related research.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students gain abilities in developing a research question that is amenable to empirical investigation, apply their critical thinking and reasoning skills in research design and develop transferable skills in relation to identifying and locating evidence.
Keywordsresearch,research design,health,psychology,nursing,health care
Course organiserDr Andrew Williams
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)51 3969
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