Module Catalogue 2024/25

ONC8026 : Research Methods 1 (E-learning)

ONC8026 : Research Methods 1 (E-learning)

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Richard McQuade
  • Lecturer: Dr Alison Clapp
  • Owning School: Pharmacy
  • Teaching Location: Off Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The overall aim of this module is to provide students with knowledge of the process of research and to develop the skills required to design a research proposal. The module reviews the approaches to critical appraisal of the evidence, consideration of research in (clinical) practice and research methodology. The module will increase awareness of research methods and encourage students to become more critical in their review and understanding of published work. Furthermore, to incorporate a critical approach into their own area of practice, whilst appreciating the external forces that impede the research process and prevent evidence from being implemented.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will cover the following topics:
•Research in the workplace
•Locating the evidence
•Critical evaluation of evidence and published information
•Application of evidence into practice
•Defining a research problem
•Research designs and methods
•The research environment
•Writing the research proposal
•Review of the literature
•Data collection and data management
•Analysis and interpretation of results
•Communication of the research output

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:
•Demonstrate an understanding of the way knowledge on clinical research topics is stored, located and accessed in modern online media.
•Identify the factors affecting and limiting the application of knowledge in the workplace.
•Identify the various elements that contribute to structured investigation, including study design, governance and ethical issues and resource issues.
•Demonstrate an understanding of how data is handled and analysed and results interpreted and communicated.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:
•Utilise the current web-based knowledge databases (medline, Cochrane Library, Systematic Review Library etc.) for accessing information on clinical research topics.
•Refine and filter search parameters and strategies to effectively utilise these resources.
•Define and refine a clinical research problem (identified by the student) to the point of a working and test-able hypothesis or subject of further structured study.
•Construct a working research proposal on a topic chosen by the student that is suitable for presentation to a professional agency (ethics board, funding organisation, R&D office etc.) that is cognizant of the underlying principles of subject specialist knowledge, study design, ethical and governance issues and resource requirements inherent in such a proposal.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading124:1050:00Online content
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity124:1050:00Work learning tasks and completing worksheets
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:0060:00Supplemental reading
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion81:1510:00Via discussion board
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students learn at their own individual pace with a recommended pace being indicated by weekly topics. Structured discussion boards with pre-defined topics invite both involvement and reflection of the students’ efforts.
The early topics encourage students to develop an understanding of how knowledge is acquired and how research activities are formulated in practice while working their way through the online tutorials. A student on this course typically relates to their own experience and professional practice. The activities in the module encourage students to seek examples and instances from their own professional life which are posted to the discussion boards. This allows for interaction, reflection and discussion and formative feedback is provided. The contrast of the differing examples posted by the students from differing backgrounds and professions gives a good feeling for the general relevance and importance of the topics and allow networking.

Later topics are comprised of further online tutorials and individual formative feedback. As knowledge of the basic principles develops the students’ efforts take on a more individual character focused on the development of their own research proposal. Individual, detailed feedback by the tutor on a draft proposal allows individual students needs to be addressed prior to completing the final topics and producing a working research proposal.

To support the online materials and exercises a range of related online resources and supplied background notes are used in the module. The course caters for professionals from all disciplines relating to oncology, palliative care and allied professionals in the pharmaceutical industry so many students need background reading in topic areas separate from their own to be able to relate to how knowledge is acquired and research done across the oncology field.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M1004500 Words (Research Proposal 3500 words, SWOT analysis 500 words, and GANT chart 500 words)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal2MDraft of the summative assessment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative assessments and activities through out the module are guided by individual feedback which guide the student in defining and refining a clinical research problem and developing this to construct a working research proposal that is suitable for presentation to a professional agency.

The summative assessment is a direct assessment of the required skills to prepare a research proposal. The draft document is submitted as a formative assessment and returned to the student with individual formative feedback for action in revision prior to submission of the summative assessment. The learning activities during the second and third unit result in the production of work that can be included within the completed document and therefore this represents a broad assessment of all skills taught during the module.

The proposal submitted for the summative assessment (3500 words) forms the basis of the project for the dissertation module. The SWOT analysis (500 words) and GANT chart (500 words) measures the development of an overview of the projects qualities and develops professional skills needed in guiding the finished proposal through the students own institutional governance processes (to carry out the project in the students own workplace these responsibilities lie with the student). A single mark is given for these combined components as the latter two are essential appendix components to a proposal and could not be sensibly considered in isolation; additionally, as all possible project types are permissible some research proposals will have differences in content between the components that would make it difficult to assess all students equally if considered as separate items/assessment components.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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