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Unit information: Research Methods in 2020/21

Unit name Research Methods
Unit code MEEDM0001
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Fowler
Open unit status Not open




School/department Teaching and Learning for Health Professionals
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences


This is a core Unit for those progressing to the MSc in Teaching and Learning for Health Professionals. The Unit is important in developing the appropriate knowledge of and skills in research so that students will be able to carry out their dissertation confidently and competently, whatever their background in relation to research may be. For this reason this is a mandatory Unit. The Unit covers an exploration of the basic assumptions underlying the social science research process, critical appraisal of the literature, research design, data collection management and an introduction to data analysis. Participants who have already done research themselves may well have some of the relevant skills, but this unit is important in highlighting the processes of applying them to an educational focus rather than a clinical or scientific one.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit the students will have:

  • Developed appropriate research questions, focused on the educational process, within specific professional contexts
  • Performed a literature search using relevant journals and databases
  • Critically appraised educational research literature
  • Designed an appropriate research study within the workplace
  • Identified the strengths and limitations of various qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods
  • Developed a broader understanding of research issues, including research paradigms and ethical issues
  • Developed a reflective approach to their own research

Teaching details

Online learning includes interactive learning through wiki and discussion boards. Short group tutorials on the named study days and follow tutorials for those who want to take part. The half day workshop for draft proposals is now online with alternative arrangements for those who can’t take part.

Assessment Details

An assignment comprising 3,000 words.

Provisional deadlines: within 12 weeks of the first study day for a Unit.

Formative: feedback on study day activities. Peer and tutor feedback on presentation of their draft outline research proposal.

Summative: Students will be required to write a research proposal designed to explore the research focus that they are thinking of for a masters project. The proposal must contain a suitable literature review, justification of methodology chosen, a consideration of research ethics and reflection on their own journey as researcher.

Reading and References

  • Bryman, A (2016) Social Research Methods (64th ed) Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • Clough, P. and Nutbrown, C. (2012) A Student’s Guide to Methodology (3rd ed) London, Sage.
  • Cohen L and Manion L (2018). Research Methods in Education. (8th ed) New York: Routledge.
  • Crotty, M. (1998) The foundations of social research: Meaning perspective in the research process. London, Sage
  • Denscombe, M. (2010) The good research guide for small-scale social research projects (4th ed) Maidenhead, open University Press
  • Punch K (2014). Introduction to social research: quantitive and qualitive approaches (3rd ed).London: Sage.
  • Sapsford R and Jupp V (1996). Data collection and analysis. London: Sage.
  • Silverman, D. (2011) Interpreting qualitative data: a guide to the principles of qualitative research (4th ed) London: Sage