Master Healthcare Research

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  • Objectives
    This programme aims to help those working in management or leadership roles in healthcare organisations to become familiar with the origins, mechanisms and implications of the current health and social care modernisation programme and assess future policy-making process in relation to the NHS and broader public services
  • Entry requirements
    The entry requirement for graduate study is a good first degree (minimum second class honours or equivalent). Applicants with other backgrounds or qualifications, including those without a first degree, can be considered. If you do not meet the normal entry requirements or have only the minimum academic standard you should pay particular attention in preparing your supporting statement and CV to ensure that you draw attention to evidence of potential success at graduate level. This might include publication, preparation of substantial reports or active participation in funded research.
  • Academic title
    MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert Healthcare Research
  • Course description
    Programme description

    - This established programme with an international reputation has been delivered in various forms since 1985 and attracts nursing and midwifery students from across the world.
    - Strong emphasis on research prepares students to conduct rigorous research relevant to their practice.
    - Flexible programme can be tailored to enable students to explore professional issues related to their particular discipline within nursing and midwifery.

    Taught modules provide a base for critically examining practice through a sound understanding of professional issues and principles and methods of research. Teaching methods include seminars, lectures, individual tutorials and group work. There is emphasis on student participation and in some modules students are actively involved in shaping the course content.

    The programme begins with modules that provide the basis for undertaking research and for critically reviewing evidence that underpins practice. These modules provide foundations for students to begin to develop ideas for later empirical study. Thereafter, the programme examines epistemological underpinnings of nursing science through considering perspectives from the philosophy of science and social theory. Further, the programme can incorporate the study of health economics for practice. This provides a systematic understanding of core concepts in health economics and healthcare financing. Students progressing to the MSc, undertake a substantial research project with one to one supervision and group seminar support.

    Part 1
    1. Principal Methods for Healthcare Research (Term 1, 15 credits)
    2. Evidence-based Decision Making in Healthcare (Term 1, 15 credits)
    3. Issues in the Conduct of Healthcare Research (Term 2, 15 credits)
    4. Option 1 (Term 2 or 3, 15 credits)

    Part 2
    1. Theories & Perspectives of Nursing & Midwifery (Term 1, 30 credits)
    2. Option 2 (Terms 2 and 3, 30 credits)

    Part 3
    1. Dissertation in Healthcare

    Programme format and assessment
    The first and second parts of the programme are predominantly taught, with a mixture of one day per week attendance and study blocks. Assessment is chiefly by coursework but at least one module is assessed by seen topic examination. Students may choose to exit the programme at three different points. They may leave after attaining 60 academic credits for award of the Postgraduate Certificate. Or, they may choose to leave the programme on successful completion of all taught modules to achieve the Postgraduate Diploma. Finally, students who successfully complete the taught courses may choose to progress to the MSc, and undertake a major research project.

    Programme modules for MSc, PG Dip, PG Cert Healthcare Research
    Evidence-based Decision Making in Healthcare
    This course aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge required to identify best evidence for your practice. It focuses on searching for, appraising and synthesising evidence from health care research. You are introduced to a range of electronic databases for accessing evidence and the principles of systematic review. Learning is facilitated through lectures, workshops and a student-directed search for evidence to address a question emerging from your own practice. Issues surrounding research implementation and evidence at the level of the individual practitioner and the health care organisation are addressed. Assessment is by means of a review of literature which answers a focussed question utilising explicit methods.

    Health Economics for Practice
    This course enables you to develop analytical understanding of core concepts in health economics, health care financing, and the economic appraisal of health care interventions. Learning is facilitated by means of lectures, student-led seminars, and workshops, which serve to emphasise the practical application of this material to real-world clinical and research issues.

    Issues in the Conduct of Healthcare Research
    This course aims to raise awareness of issues that arise inthe conduct of research, from writing research proposals to the publication of findings. It will be useful for students embarking on a research or service development project, for new researchers wishing to develop their skills, and for healthcare professionals seeking to evaluate healthcare services. Issues covered in the course include gaining funding, managing research schedules, involving users in the research process, working with external agencies, addressing ethical and political issues in research, and managing aspects of the data collection process - for example overcoming poor response rates and managing group dynamics in focus group research. Learning is facilitated through lectures, recommended reading and seminars. The seminars provide a series of How to... sessions that facilitate application of concepts learnt during the Principal Methods for Healthcare Research course. For example: How to develop an interview schedule, or How to run a focus group. These seminars enable students to gain a practical understanding of the research process.

    Principal Methods for Healthcare Research
    This introductory course aims to provide students a broad knowledge of research approaches and techniques used in healthcare research. It intends to promote students understanding of, and enhance skills for critiquing research articles. Further it aims to promote the development of skills required to undertake a research-based project in the future. The course is essential for students who have not previously studied research methods or who would benefit from revision of this knowledge. It will consider philosophical bases for research, traditions and features of qualitative and quantitative research designs, data collection tools used in qualitative and qauntitative research and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. This course is a precursor for the second research methods course, Issues in the Conduct of Healthcare Research.

    Theories & Perspectives in Healthcare
    Students are introduced to the principles of scientific method and theory development. The course provides a critical overview of philosophical debates on social research. The contribution of disciplines such as psychology, sociology and biology to the understanding of nursing and midwifery is explored and a variety of topics and theories are presented by staff and students to demonstrate their application to health care. The processes of concept analysis and reflection in practice are examined. Nursing and midwifery philosophies and models are reviewed and evaluated in terms of their potential to generate research questions and for their application to the planning and delivery of care. 

    FT one calendar year. PT over a maximum of six years (four years for diploma, three for certificate) and a minimum of two (one for diploma/certificate). Typically students take one year to complete a certificate, two years for a diploma and three years for an MSc. September start.

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