Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE An Introduction to Research Methods in the Health Sciences

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Health Sciences

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is designed to allow undergraduate students in health science courses to identify the stages of the research process in relation to quantitative, qualitative and mixed method approach; formulate a research question in relation to their clinical environment and apply theoretically the stages of the research process accordingly. Students will be able to develop the skills and knowledge required to search, analyze and synthesise the research evidence on a chosen topic of interest. It covers literature reviewing and evaluation and report writing.

Study-unit Aims:

- To introduce students to the basic knowledge of the research process in relation to health care research;
- To give students the ability to search, analyze and synthesise research evidence relevant to health care practice.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Identify and describe the meaning and importance of evidence based health care practice.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts of academic reading and writing.
- Identify ways to search and access evidence-based research.
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual research studies through the use of guidelines for the evaluation of research studies.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Identify and retrieve relevant literature to a topic being reviewed, using the appropriate databases, such as CINAHL, Medline, Psychinfo;
- Extract information on individual research studies from research reports with the use of data extraction templates;
- Synthesise and clearly report the results of the research studies on a common topic;
- Provide an evaluation of the best available evidence to date on the basis of the strengths and limitations of research.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Essential Reading

Gerrish K. & Lacey A. (2010) The research process in nursing 6th ed. Wiley Blackwell ISBN 1405190485.
Aveyard H. (2010) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide 2nd ed. Open University Press, ISBN 0335238858.
Hart C. (2003) Doing a Literature Review, Sage Publications.
Parahoo, K (2006) Nursing Research: Principles, Process and Issues. London: Macmillan.

Desirable Reading

Creswell, J.W. (2009) Research Design. Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. (3rd ed) Sage Publications
Polgar, S. & Thomas, S.A. (2007) Introduction to Research in the Health Sciences (5th ed.) Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Gomm R. & Davies C. (2000) Using evidence in Health and Social Care, Open University Press.
Polit, D.F., Beck, C.T. (2012) Nursing Research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (9th ed). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Ramlaul, A. (2010) Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy Research. 1st ed., Elsevier, UK.
Wickam S. (2009) Appraising Research into Childbirth – an Interactive Workbook. Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier.
Watson, R., McKenna, H., Cowman, S. (2008) Nursing Research: Design and Methods. Churchill Livingstone.

Supplementary Reading

Pring, T. (2005) Research Methods in Communication Disorders. London: Whurr.
Robson, C. (2002) Real World Research: A resource for social scientists and practitioners (2nd ed.) Oxford: Blackwell.
Cluett, E.R., & Bluff, R. (2006). Principles and Practice of Research in Midwifery. Edinburgh: Bailliere Tindall.
Newell, R., & Burnard, P. (2006). Research for evidence-based practice. Oxford: Blackwell Science.
Rees, C. (2011) An Introduction to Research for Midwives. (3rd ed). Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%
Important - Due to the COVID19 Pandemic the information regarding the method of assessment indicated above may have been changed. Further details have been provided by your F/I/C/S.

LECTURER/S Marjorie Bonello
Claire Copperstone
Cynthia Formosa
Petra Jones
Stephen Lungaro Mifsud
Stephen Mizzi
Vasileios Valdramidis

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.