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Implementation Science

Module titleImplementation Science
Module codeHPDM058DA
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Professor Rob Anderson (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

In this module, you will critically appraise theories, models and the practice of implementation science in health and social care. You will critically examine diagnostic, behaviour change and sociological models of implementation, with strategies to increase utilisation of the scientific evidence base in health and social care that flow from these theoretical positions.

Module aims - intentions of the module

You will develop the skills to evaluate theories of implementation and will be able to demonstrate insight into how innovation and behaviour change can be planned and delivered in modern health services. You will identify and critically appraise evidence about implementation science from different sources and consider how these can be integrated into a plan for action. The module will enable you to develop a detailed, theory-informed strategy for achieving evidence-based change in an area of health care practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically analyse and evaluate the multiple factors that influence the adoption of best evidence in health care
  • 2. Critically appraise behaviour change methods by which evidence-based interventions can be implemented effectively

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Contribute to a research-led healthcare environment by working with multiple stakeholders to build capacity and capability
  • 4. Develop a detailed strategy for the implementation of best evidence in an area of professional practice

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Critically apply learning from the social, psychological, health, and organisational sciences to achieve evidence-based change in complex organisations
  • 6. Engage diverse stakeholders to achieve evidence-based change

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, an example of an overall structure is as follows: 


  • Introduction to Implementation Science
  • Putting implementation theory and frameworks into practice
  • Engagement of stakeholders and colleagues in complex healthcare environments
  • Using knowledge: Experiences and challenges
  • Student presentations (formative)

The following approaches might be applied if necessary due to Covid19: -

  • Face-to-face scheduled lectures may be replaced by short pre-recorded videos for each topic (15-20 minutes) and/or brief overview lectures delivered via MS Teams, with learning consolidated by self-directed learning resources and ELE activities. –
  • Small-group discussion in tutorials and seminars may be replaced by synchronous group discussion on MS-Teams; or asynchronous online discussion, for example via Yammer or ELE Discussion board –
  • Workshops involving face-to-face classroom teaching may be replaced by synchronous sessions on MS-Teams; or Asynchronous workshop activities supported with discussion forum

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities15Synchronous and Asynchronous (pre-recorded) online lectures, seminars, master-classes to enhance learning through consolidation of pre-reading, introduction to key topics, specialist areas and role models and diversity of contexts and outcomes.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities14Synchronous webinars and group discussions, practical exercises, simulated case-studies and engagement with real-world scenarios (all via MS-Teams) to foster experiential learning with opportunities for peer and tutor feedback.
Guided Independent Study25Web-based learning, resource gathering, and in-depth reading during the period of module delivery. Preparation and writing of assignment.
These 54 hours make up the Off-the-Job learning element mandated by the ESFA guidance. The additional 96 hours required for the award of university credits arises from reflection on the taught material and its application in the workplace and the creation of work products that forms part of an assignment which results in a positive influence on the apprentice’s work.


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case-based discussionsVarious and ongoing1,3,4Oral
Small group projectsVarious and ongoing1,2,4Oral
Student presentations (Individual)1540 mins (20 5-10 minute individual presentation via MS-Teams plus group discussion)1-6Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Implementation strategy essay1003000 words1-6Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Implementation strategy essay (100%)Implementation strategy essay (3000 words)1-6August/September Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Same as for the original summative assessment, to include response to the written feedback and undertaken during the University’s agreed referral/deferral period.

Please refer to the TQA section on Referral/Deferral:


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Berwick, D. (2008) The science of improvement. JAMA 299 (10) 1182-1184

Damschroder, L. J., D. C. Aron, R. E. Keith, S. R. Kirsh, J. A. Alexander and J. C. Lowery (2009). "Fostering implementation of health services research findings into practice: a consolidated framework for advancing implementation science." Implement Sci 4: 50.

Davidoff, F. (2009) Heterogeneity is not always noise: Lessons from Improvement. JAMA 302 (23) 2580-2586

Grol, R. & Wensing, M. (2013) Implementation of change in healthcare: A complex problem. In: R. Grol, M. Wensing, M. Eccles & D. Davis, eds., Improving patient care: The implementation of change in health care. pp.3-17, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell/ BMJ Books

Grol, R., Bosch, M. & Wensing, M. (2013) Development and selection of strategies for improving patient care. In: R. Grol, M. Wensing, M. Eccles & D. Davis, eds., Improving patient care: The implementation of change in health care. pp.167-184, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell/ BMJ Books

Health Foundation/ BMJ Quality & Safety (2014) A collection of key articles.

May, C. (2013) Towards a general theory of implementation. Implementation Science 8:18

Michie, S., M. M. van Stralen and R. West (2011). "The behaviour change wheel: a new method for characterising and designing behaviour change interventions." Implement Sci 6: 42.

Ovretveit, J. (2014) Evaluating Improvement and Implementation for Health. Maidenhead: Open University Press

Tabak, R.G, Khoong, E.C, Chambers, D.A & Brownson, R.C (2012) Bridging research and practice: Models for dissemination and implementation research. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 43 (3) 337-350

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

A full list of recommended resources will be available of the University of Exeter’s electronic learning environment (ELE,

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Implementation Science

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Last revision date