PP0428 - Introduction to Academic Research

What will I learn on this module?

This module provides you with an introduction to academic research within health and social sciences disciplines. In an increasingly information-rich society, knowledge and skills in research play an essential role in enabling society to anticipate, and respond to, unexpected challenges and change. Therefore, understanding and using research are recognised as essential requirements for all professionals to inform service improvement. This module is designed to develop your understanding of the nature, purpose, principles, practical challenges and ethics of research by examining a broad range of research methodologies and methods. You will also learn essential concepts and languages in research.

The focus of the module is on specific and very important aspects of research for you:
• Understanding the role of research;
• Introduction to research methodologies and how these underpin different forms of knowledge;
• Introduction to research methods and their strengths and weaknesses;
• Reviewing and critiquing literature with methodological appropriateness and with particular reference to the application to practice;
• understanding the importance of the ethical issues in research;
• Application of knowledge to practice and putting research to use.

This module will support you to develop the research skills and knowledge necessary that are transferable across disciplines. This module will assist you in the conception, development, documentation, delivery and reporting of your independent research. The module is invaluable in providing you with a solid foundation from which to develop your independent research, including final year project.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, tutor or student-led seminars, workshops, peer group and collaborative learning and independent, self-directed study. Lectures will cover key characteristics of social research and what makes ‘good research’, understanding social research methods, different elements of the research process, research ethics, and critical appraisal of social research. Seminars will provide you with the opportunity to discuss research design and practice issues with peers and tutors in a supportive and open environment. Seminar activities will also have strong practical orientation activities to apply the knowledge gained from the lecture in the form of practical examples and small group activities during the seminar session. It will give you the opportunity to reflect upon insightful, challenging and well-considered approaches to research. You will also use the on-going self-direct study time stipulated in the module outline to become familiar with research and to complete required assessment components.
A range of resources including lecture materials, links to external websites, podcast materials assessment details, and additional resources to support your study will be on via the Electronic Learning Portal (eLP). You will also be expected to post comments and have on-line discussions through discussion boards on the eLP. There will also be a series of workshops in IT labs and library during this module in which you will learn and practice your research skills required for the formative and summative assessment. There are opportunities for formative assessment throughout the module to support your learning and to help you work towards the summative assignment

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your learning will be supported in a variety of ways during the module. The module leader and tutors will provide a series of lectures which focus on the learning outcomes for this module. Seminars will provide you with an opportunity to freely discuss and share your ideas with a tutor and peers. Especially, seminars will provide opportunities for formative ‘feed forward’ comment to you and develop your learning as you progress through the module. You will be supported by peer group work, which is central to learning on this module, through a series of collaborative working. Seminars and tutor/peer feedbacks will also support development towards the final assessed work.
You will be provided with reading materials, case examples, and activities during the seminars to support the development of your understanding of academic research. Especially, an electronic reading list which will include essential and recommended readings for the module will be provided to you. These will support you to engage in your own search for literature in order for you to develop your research skills.
Supervised workshops will also be provided to support the development of IT skills necessary for the summative assessment.
Contact details for the module leader and all tutors for this module are available to answer your enquiries in the module handbook and via the eLP.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Understand basic concepts, principles and practical challenges in research methodologies and methods, including understanding the importance of research ethics.
2. Understand and use language of research

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Develop basic critical appraisal skills and research reporting skill used in health & social care, and guidance & counselling research.
4. Demonstrate competence of research searching skill through IT, bibliographic skills and utilisation of web resources.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Demonstrate critical curiosity, analysis and ethics requirement in national and international academic research activities.

How will I be assessed?

1. Formative Assignment:
During the module, you will be expected to work in small groups and deliver an oral presentation on a particular research method and your chosen strength and challenges. (MLO 1,2,3,4 & 5)

2. Summative Assignment:
2000 words written assignment (a critical and systematic literature review in an area of research relating to professional practice within an identified subject area) (MLO 1,2,3,4 & 5)

1. Formative assignment
Module tutors will encourage peer feedback on your group presentation during the course of the module. Moreover, you will also get informal verbal feedback (from tutors, and peers) throughout the module as you undertake a carefully structured sequence of learning activities and tasks.

2. Summative
Tutors will formally assess your written assignment providing written feedback and marks based on the assessment criteria.





Module abstract

The module is a core requirement for you taking Health and Integrated Social Care, and Guidance and Counselling. The aim of this module is to develop the understanding of academic research as a source of knowledge and application of evidence to future practice situations. Therefore, this module will focus on the understanding of fundamental principles of research and knowledge construction, and developing the ability to appraise the quality of different forms of evidence, including consideration of relevant ethical issues. This module will support students to move from entry level to being able to draw on a range of research skills and knowledge to support learning on the whole programme. This module leads on to Research in Practice module (Level 5).

Course info

UCAS Code B9L5

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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