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Key Approaches in Health Research

Module titleKey Approaches in Health Research
Module codeCSC2022
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Professor David Llewellyn (Convenor)

Dr Emma Cockcroft (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Rigorous measurement and evaluation are at the heart of good research. They are also the key to ensuring that research leads to evidence-based clinical practice. This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of measurement and evaluation, including the design and testing of new measures, evidence synthesis, and cost-effectiveness. This module will focus specifically on research that is conducted with human participants.
For students in the Medical Sciences Programme, this module can be taken with CSC2007 Introduction to Health Research to complete the Health Research Pathway requirements for Year 2, or taken on its own as part of an interdisciplinary pathway.

The module is also open to students in Psychology and Sport & Health Sciences, provided they have taken the prerequisite Introduction to Health Research module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to advance students’ understanding of measurement and evaluation in health research, and develop essential skills in the evaluation of research that involves patients and the public.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific principles underpinning the measurement of human health outcomes
  • 2. Explain the differences between, and relative strengths and weaknesses of, quantitative and qualitative health measures
  • 3. Explain the importance of, and demonstrate an understanding of, psychometric testing
  • 4. Conduct statistical analyses
  • 5. Conduct qualitative analyses
  • 6. Discuss the value of evidence synthesis and explain the process by which it informs clinical practice
  • 7. Conduct a basic systematic review
  • 8. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of health economics and process evaluation

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 9. Understand the importance of rigorous measurement and evaluation in the development and implementation of best practice across a range of healthcare settings
  • 10. Discuss the relative contribution of different types of evidence and measurement to the advancement of health research and clinical practice

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 11. Manage time and workload effectively
  • 12. Write clearly and efficiently for a scientific audience

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:

Lecture Topics:

(1)  Introduction

(2)  Developing scales and evaluating their psychometric properties

(3)  Statistical analysis 1

(4)  Statistical analysis 2

(5)  Qualitative analysis 1

(6)  Qualitative analysis 2

(7)  Clinical trials

(8)  Health economics

(9)  Process evaluations

(10)  Systematic reviews and meta-analyses


Workshops will cover:

Measurement development; psychometric testing; advanced statistical analysis; qualitative analysis; evidence synthesis; critical appraisal of clinical trials, health economics, and process evaluations.


This module has been designed for in-person, blended or online learning. Delivery of the sessions will therefore take place in classrooms or online via videos and MS Teams as conditions allow. 

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 Activities10 (1 hour content for each topic)Lectures (delivered face-face or as pre-recorded online content)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities20 (10 x 2 hours)Small-group workshops (delivered face-face or as a live session on online platform depending on circumstances)
Guided independent study60Preparation for scheduled activities
Guided independent study60Assessment preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Completion of practical activities in workshopsThroughout the module1-12Verbal feedback in workshops

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
Short answer question (SAQ) exam 501 hour1-5, 9-11Summary written feedback to whole group
Brief essay/review501500 words6-7, 11-12Individual written feedback


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
1 hour short answer question (SAQ) exam (50%)1 hour short answer question (SAQ) exam (50%)1-5, 9-11Ref/Def
1,500 word essay/review (50%)1,500 word essay/review (50%)6-7, 11-12Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Please see the Student Handbook for guidance


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


Students will also be expected to read and critically appraise peer-reviewed academic journal articles.

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources will be available

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Health Research; research Design; measurement; evaluation; statistics; quantitative research; qualitative research; evidence synthesis; systematic review; meta-analysis; health economics; critical appraisal; psychology; medicine; health sciences

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

CSC2007 Introduction to Health Research

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date