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 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:

Main Texts:

- Atkinson, P. & Hammersley, M. (2019) Ethnography: Principles in Practice. (4th Ed.) London, UK: Routledge.
- 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.
- Birks, M., & Mills, J. (2015). Grounded theory: A practical guide (2nd ed). London, UK: Sage
- 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.
- Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. (2nd ed.) London, UK: Sage.
- 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.
- Fetterman, D.M. (2020). Ethnography: Step by step (4thed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Field, A. (2009) Discovering Statistics using SPSS. London: Sage.
- Griffiths, F. (2009) Research Methods for Health Care Practice, London: Sage Publications.
- Giorgi, A.P. & Giorgi, B. (2008). Phenomenological Research. In C. Willig & W. Stainton-.‐Rogers (Eds.) The SAGE Handbook Of Qualitative Research (pp. 165-.‐178). London, UK: Sage
- 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.
- Langdridge, D. (2007). żHarlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited
- 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.
- Shinebourne, P. (2011). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. In N.
- Frost (Ed.), Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology: Combining core approaches. Open University. p.44-.‐65.
- Smith JA. (2007) Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods (2nd Edition), London: Sage.
- Smith, J.A., Flowers, P., Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. London, UK: Sage.
- Spradley, J.P. (1980). Participant Observation. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College .
- Spradley, J.P. (1979). The Ethnographic Interview. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College.
- 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
Presentation SEM2 No 30%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Josephine Attard
Marjorie Bonello
Liberato Camilleri
Stephen Lungaro Mifsud
Roberta Sammut (Co-ord.)
Josianne Scerri
Josef Trapani

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.