Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Research Methods for Health Care Professionals

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Health Sciences

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is primarily intended to enable health care students to develop the necessary skills and competencies to undertake postgraduate research. Students will learn about the main traditions of qualitative and quantitative enquiry as well as with the specific methods adopted by these traditions. Furthermore, students will be exposed to a range of methods of analyses (including statistics and interpretative methods) and the relevant software packages.

Health care research, being multidisciplinary in nature, draws on a wide variety of research methods and philosophical orientations. This study-unit will therefore expose students to this variety by focusing on the theoretical and practical perspectives of the research process through a series of intensive workshops together with online collaborative learning activities.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to assist students to develop the required skills and competencies to be able to design and subsequently be able to conduct an ethically and methodologically sound research study.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Differentiate between a range of social science research designs;
- Judge the merits of different methods of data collection;
- Differentiate between types of sampling techniques and case selection strategies;
- Assess the rigour of various research papers;
- Evaluate a range of reliability, validity and rigour strategies across a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods;
- Critically discuss a range of pertinent ethical issues across a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Identify, analyze, evaluate and synthesize relevant published material from diverse sources and settings, including systematic reviews;
- Develop critical thinking skills that can be applied to the research process;
- Construct empirical research questions and hypotheses;
- Select a correct methodology according to a given research question/hypothesis;
- Analyse qualitative and quantitative data with the appropriate statistical tools, using software packages where appropriate;
- Write a research proposal that is methodologically and ethically sound.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. (6th Ed.). (2010). Washington DC: APA.
Berg, B. L. (2001). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (4th Edition). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Bowling A. (2009) Research methods in health, (3nd edition) Buckingham; Open University Press.
Bland M. (2000) An introduction to medical statistics (3rd edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bryman A (2008) Social Research Methods Oxford (3rd Edition): Oxford University Press.
Cohen, L. Manion, L. & Morrison, L.(2000). Research Methods in Education (5th Ed.). London: Routledge.
Cresswell, J. W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Field, A. (2009) Discovering Statistics using SPSS. London: Sage.
Griffiths, F. (2009) Research Methods for Health Care Practice, London: Sage Publications.
Hardy, M. & Bryman, A. (2004). Handbook of data analysis. London: Sage Publications.
Huberman, A. M. & Miles, M. B. (Eds.). (2002). The qualitative researcher's companion. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Lincoln, Y. S. & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Mason J. (2002) Qualitative Researching London; Sage.
Mertens, D.M., (2008) The Handbook of Social Research Ethics, London: Sage Publications.
Oppenheim A.N. (2000) Questionnaire Design, interviewing and attitude measurement. Continuum Publishing Group, Washington.
Patton, M.Q. (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods, (3rd edition), London: Sage.
Polgar S. and Thomas SA. (2007) Introduction to research in the health sciences (5th edition), Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Polit, D. F. & Beck, C. T. (2006). Essentials of nursing research: methods, appraisal, and utilization (6th Edition). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Richards, L. (2005). Handling qualitative data: a practical guide. London: Sage Publications.
Robson, C. (2002). Real world research (2nd Edition). Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Smith JA. (2007) Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods (2nd Edition), London: Sage.
Taylor MC (2007) Evidence-Based Practice for Occupational Therapists (2nd Edition) Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Wagner, W.E. (2010) Using IBM SPSS for Social Statistics and Research Methods, 3rd Edition, London: Sage Publications.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Workshop SEM2 No 10%
Presentation SEM2 No 30%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 60%
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 Josephine Attard
Marjorie Bonello
Rita Borg Xuereb
Liberato Camilleri
Stephen Lungaro Mifsud
Roberta Sammut (Co-ord.)
Josianne Scerri
Josef Trapani

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.
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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.