Skip to main content


SPE8228 : MSc Research in Clinical Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Christos Salis
  • Lecturer: Ms Helen Nazlie
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 20.0


1. To enable students to generate, describe and analyse data systematically; to formulate research questions and hypotheses; to interpret quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate hypotheses
2. To understand difference study designs and methodological approaches.
3. To enable students to understand single case experimental study methodology and its application in a clinical setting
4. To provide students with critical appraisal skills for evaluating effectively treatment studies
5. To provide students with the experience of conducting applied research in speech and language pathology in the clinical setting
6. To develop an in-depth understanding of the current theory related to assessment and intervention appropriate to an individual client

In relation to HCPC Standards of Proficiency (SoP), the following SoPs are addressed: 12.1 be able to engage in evidence-based practice, evaluate practice systematically and participate in audit procedures; 12.7 recognise the need to monitor and evaluate the quality of practice and the value of contributing to the generation of data for quality assurance and improvement programmes 12.2 be able to gather information, including qualitative and quantitative data, that helps to evaluate the responses of service users to their care; 13.2 be aware of the principles and applications of scientific enquiry, including the evaluation of treatment efficacy and the research process; 14.11 to be able to use research, reasoning and problem solving skills to determine appropriate actions; 14.12 recognise the value of research to the critical evaluation of practice; 14.13 be aware of a range of research methodologies; 14.14 to be able to evaluate research and other evidence to inform their own practice.

Outline Of Syllabus

Taught component:
Types of data: quantitative, qualitative
Overview of reserach designs
Research questions, variables, hypotheses
Single case experiment designs
Descriptive and inferential statistics
Statistical vs. clinical significance
Non-parametric statistics using Excel software

Project component:
General induction session
Semester 1: Taught component, followed by external clinical practice placement where student works with one client on an intensive basis over a 8 week period with support from external practice educator (clinical supervisor)
Semester 1/2: Supporting tutorials from internal academic supervisor

In relation to the RCSLT curriculum guidance, this module contributes to the mandatory placement hours (3.4.1). Students have the opportunity to work with a client for an intensive intervention programme, demonstrating applied knowledge of and speech and language therapy management for one of the client groups listed in 4.3.2.

This module contributes to the key graduate capabilities around research and evidence-based practice (4.2.4), with a focus on section A using the evidence base to support clinical reasoning and practice and section B research skills and methods. Students demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to understand and apply research to practice as well as carrying out a research project.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1110:00110:00Write up of extended case report including literature review, data analysis and interpretation
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning816:00128:00Semester 1
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture42:008:00Induction, semester 1 (research methods, terminology, quantitative and qualitative concepts)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Preparation for data analysis test (written examination)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical52:0010:00Statistical analysis practicals (present in person, or synchronous on-line)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading812:0096:00Semester 1 reading and reflection
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision18:008:00Support from academic supervisor (semester 1 & 2)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:0024:00Self study using statistical analysis software
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Induction (present in person or synchronous online)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Research methods and statistics lectures will introduce foundational concepts. Student independent study to practise using statistical analysis software to become familiar/confident in using statistical tests as well as assimilate knowledge of qualitative methodology as it pertains to their practice placement. Interactive sessions discussing treatment study design, both from a quantitative and qualitative approaches and issue of clinical effectiveness from a research as well as purely clinical perspective. Clinical practice to allow independent work with a client, supported by supervision from practice educator to ensure assessment and intervention is appropriate for the client. Academic supervisor to advise on the design and write up of the study, including the analysis and interpretation of the data. One general tutorial will support students at the write up stage.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A10Data Analysis In House Class Test - organised in School
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2M90Dissertation (Extended case report): Write up of single case; word limit 10,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Data analysis test assesses the ability to identify variables, formulate hypotheses, analyse data appropriately with statistical software and interpret them.

Extended case report is a dissertation type project in which the student is required to write up their single case study, framing research question in the context of a literature review, analysing their data and interpret the findings in relation to current literature.

Reading Lists