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Extended Independent Research

Module titleExtended Independent Research
Module codeHPDM091
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Professor Vicki Goodwin (Convenor)

Dr Rebecca Abbott (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module is the piece of independent research associated with the Masters in Health Research Methods and is designed to enable students to develop and conduct an extended, independent piece of research and produce a written, and potentially publishable report, under supervision, and to demonstrate project design, development, evaluation, synthesis and skills. As well as research skills the students will develop academic writing and presentation skills.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the extended independent research module is to enable students to demonstrate their ability to design, conduct, evaluate and write up a high quality research project on a topic that is of relevance to the title and aim of their award and in doing so, to demonstrate self-direction, originality and an ability to act autonomously in the planning and use of research skills at an advanced level.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Systematically and critically review relevant theory and methodology in the design and development of an independent project’s aims and methods of data collection and analysis
  • 2. Provide evidence of skills in the formulation of research questions, identification of aims and objectives and clarification and justification of choice of methodological approach

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise a research project’s findings and interpret their relevance within the context of established or emerging theories, policies and/or professional practice
  • 4. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems in the conduct of a research project that is methodologically and ethically sound

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. Present logically argued and clearly written report that will aim to enhance knowledge and understanding at an advanced level in a given field, discipline or area of policy or practice.
  • 6. Critically evaluate and reflect upon their own strengths, limitations and performance with reference to the design, development, organisation and write up of the research.
  • 7. Prepare academic outputs using visual, oral and written methods

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Students will work under the supervision of a member of staff who is able to guide the student through the independent research process. This will be accompanied by workshops on academic writing, preparing presentations and posters. A written research protocol and short oral presentation will form part of the assessment in term 2.The final written research report will be in the form of a journal article accompanied by a research poster.

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 & teaching activities10Independent research workshops (5 x 2 hours) to cover topics such as academic writing, working with supervisors, poster and oral presentations and the assessment guidance and criteria
Scheduled learning and teaching activities60Supervision meetings (scheduled by arrangement between individual students and supervisors). Contact with research supervisors may take place face-to-face or via email, telephone or video-conferencing
Guided independent study130Resource gathering and in-depth reading
Guided independent study350Project design and delivery
Guided independent study350Preparation and writing of written reports and presentations


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Feedback and discussion with supervisor60 hours2-4,6Verbal and online

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
Oral presentation of research protocol 1010 minutes + 5 minutes questions Contact with research supervisors may take place face-to-face or via email, telephone or video-conferencing1-2,5-7Written
Written research protocol 20Maximum 2,000 words1-2, 5-7Written
Research project report following journal guidelines60Maximum 5,000 words (dependent on target journal guidance)1-7Written
Research poster10Conference style poster (face-to-face presentation may be replaced by presentation using Teams/Zoom)1-7Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Oral presentation of research protocol (10%)10 minutes + 5 minutes questions1-2, 5-7Typically within 12 weeks of the result
Written research protocol (20%) Maximum 2,000 words1-2, 5-7Typically within 12 weeks of the result
Project report (60%)Maximum 5,000 words (dependent on target journal guidance)1-7Typically within 12 weeks of the result
Research poster (10%)Conference style poster1-7Typically within 12 weeks of the result


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Dixon N (2001) Writing for publication a guide for new authors. International Journal for Quality in Healthcare. 13;5:417-21   

Lock D. (2007).The Essentials of Project Management (3rd edition). Aldershot, Gower Publishing  

Rudestam, K. and Newton, R. (2007). Surviving your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process (3rd edition). London, Sage Publications.  

Swetnam, D. (2005). How to Plan, Prepare and Present Successful Work (3rd edition). Trowbridge, Cromwell Press Ltd. 

Systematic Reviews

PRISMA reporting guidelines – see


Reporting guidelines - see 

Writing skills –The Purdue Online Writing Lab

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Please see ELE above for further up to date electronic resources.

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Research project, dissertation

Credit value90
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

To pass 2 out of the 3 core modules in term 1 -  Core Concepts in Applied HSR (HPDM052); Evidence Synthesis in HSR (HPDM053); Statistics applied to health (HPDM054)

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date