Advancing research knowledge in practice 1 (masters level)

Key features

This 20 credit masters-level module aims to help you develop an understanding of key research designs and methods, focusing on introducing the key research methodologies with their associated methods. This module is core to all MSc programmes within the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

By the end of this module you will be expected to be able to appraise the various bases of research and explore key research methodologies and appraise different research collection methods. You will also learn to analyse and synthesise research literature when developing a narrative review as well as appraise the coherence in research design, considering ethical principles and user involvement. You will also be able to demonstrate your critical awareness of validity, reliability and rigour in research.

This module must be undertaken before the module Advancing research knowledge in practice 2.

Module code




FHEQ level

Level 7 - masters degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery in Plymouth

*This module was previously known as MCH501

Course details

This module will be delivered over a number of sessions, with content including:

Session 1 – introduction to research: provides an in-depth discussion of the research process, philosophical paradigms and research methodologies.

Session 2 – critique and critical appraisal: an introduction to critiquing, critical appraisal and evaluating research and the development of a narrative literature review.

Session 3 – qualitative methodology: focuses on qualitative methodologies and research designs including methods of data collection such as action research etc.

Session 4 – quantitative methodology: focuses on quantitative methodologies and research designs including methods of data collection such as systematic reviews etc.

Session 5 – research ethics: looks at the ethical issues surrounding research.

Module dates

The dates for the next delivery are to be confirmed.

Occasionally delivery dates might be subject to change, always check with the module lead or Professional Development Unit.

Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers. In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date. Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers.


The assessment for this module is a narrative review of the literature surrounding a research topic of your choice, demonstrating a critical understanding of research and its methodologies.

(Please note that these assessment details are provisional - if you require further information please contact the module lead or the Professional Development Unit)

This module can be studied as a standalone module or as a core module towards the following programmes:

MSc Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Clinical Practitioner)

MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Community and Primary Care Practitioner)

MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Mental Health Practitioner)  

MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Nursing and Midwifery Professions)

PgDip/MSc Advanced Critical Care Practitioner

PgDip/MSc Surgical Care Practitioner (all pathways)

MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Education)

Our students say...

  • A The module lead is very enthusiastic and approachable. You can tell she cares about her students and wants them to succeed. I enjoyed all webinars and liked the interactive elements. (September 16 cohort)
  • A Structured teaching and the lecturers were really interactive and very good. (September 16 cohort)

Rachel Pascoe, Module Lead

Module Lead - Rachel Pascoe

This module aims to enhance the student’s knowledge and understanding of research, therefore enabling them to develop their research thinking.

Find out more about Rachel Pascoe

Entry requirements

To be considered for a place on the module:

  • You ideally will have previously studied to graduate level
  • Individuals without a degree may be eligible to apply providing they have appropriate practice-related experience relevant to the programme they wish to undertake.

Each student will be considered and advised individually (where required) by the programme team and Professional Development Unit. Please contact the PDU or programme lead if you have any queries regarding your situation.

Fees and funding


Please see our professional development module fees page.


Funding for this module may be available through your employing trust. Please contact your trust’s education coordinator in the first instance. If you work in the private, independent or voluntary sector, please contact your employer who will advise you accordingly.