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Research Methods for Health and Social Care Level 7 credits

This unit will provide an overview of different research methods used to address clinical research questions. It will cover aspects of research design and how they apply to the question being asked whether the approach is quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods.

This unit is available at Level 7.

See more course details.

Key information

Next start date:

13 November 2020


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


5 weeks

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2.

Experience of related clinical work/study/research is usually required. Health professionals with non-traditional academic backgrounds will also be considered.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading, or equivalent. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

Course details

A good understanding of research methods is important whether you are designing a study or reading and critically appraising published literature. This unit has been designed to provide an overview of a selection of research methods to help with this understanding.

The format of the unit will primarily be through independent study. This will be supported by academic-led seminars and group tutorials that will encourage individual and group learning. Students will discuss the range of research designs particularly around how they apply to their chosen research question. Students will be encouraged to make use of a blended-learning environment with the virtual learning environment (Brightspace), e-library facilities, and sharing their learning with their group.

Download the unit specification (Pdf 67Kb).

Course start date: 

  •  November 2020 intake: 13, 20, 27 November, 4, 11 December 2020.

Entry requirements

  • A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2.
  • Experience of related clinical work/study/research is usually required. Health professionals with non-traditional academic backgrounds will also be considered
  • An equivalent qualification (the learning outcome of which are demonstrably appropriate in terms of knowledge, understanding and skills) equivalent to 120 credits at Level 5.

If you do not meet this criteria you are still able to apply for this unit but we may ask you to complete a study skills handbook to familiarise yourself with academic writing at Master's degree level. The study skills handbook will be sent to you when we have received your application form.

Fees and funding

For individuals

You will need to pay or indicate employer support of payment for unit or course fees to the university.

Applicants working within the NHS or other healthcare providers may be eligible for support with funding from their employer through the Learning Beyond Registration contract with the NHS South of England.

Applicants should contact their employing organisation for further details.

Information if you are self-funding

If you are funding the course or unit yourself or your employer is sponsoring you outside a contractual agreement, you will need to apply directly to the university.

Once you have been accepted onto a unit or course, you will be sent a payment form which must be completed and returned on or before enrolment. The form requires that payment be made in one of three ways:

  • By cheque for the full amount made payable to ‘Bournemouth University’
  • By giving details of a credit or debit card
  • By invoice to your employer or other sponsoring organisation.

Full details of the invoicing address and the name, signature and position of an authorised person must be provided. Please note that invoices cannot be raised for you if you are paying the fees.

It is possible for you to pay your fees in instalments and fees must be paid either by credit or debit card.

For employers

Pre-purchased places

The Faculty of Health & Social Sciences has contractual arrangements with NHS organisations for pre-paid places on specified modules including NHS South of England. If you work within Dorset & Somerset or Hampshire & Isle of Wight you may be able to access the pre-paid places. These arrangements allow NHS Trusts to nominate the staff they wish to send on each unit or course.

The pre-arranged agreements allow individuals, such as yourself, a route to access appropriate professional development opportunities that are seen as strategically important to your organisation (in consultation with your Line Manager/Education Co-ordinator).

Applications for these places are dealt with through your Line Manager/Education Co-ordinator and they will arrange for you to complete the relevant paperwork and application form. All application forms for pre-paid places must be signed by your organisation’s Education Lead.


Our CPD unit fees have already been discounted based on our Employers’ Scholarship Scheme, as such these units are not eligible for the Early payment discount and BU graduate discount.   

How to apply

In the first instance, you should talk to your Line Manager/Education Co-ordinator to understand if there are any contractual arrangements in place and whether your chosen course or unit of study can be funded via this route.

If this situation applies to you, you must submit your completed application form via your Line Manager/Education Co-ordinator, who will forward it to the University.

If you are funding the course or unit of study yourself or your employer is sponsoring you (outside any contractual arrangement), please submit your completed application form directly to the university.

You can download an application form by clicking on the ‘apply now’ icon above. Simply fill it in and return it to us.

Please note: In some cases, we may ask you to provide additional references but we will advise you of this once you have submitted your application form.

Please contact us to check start dates.

Admissions Email: 

Phone number: 01202 964444

Career development

This course is an important first step for those people wishing to combine research with a career in a health and social care field. This and subsequent units can be taken in the form of standalone units that meet the individual’s research learning requirements or accumulated over a period of time to complete the award of MSc Health Research. These options provide a flexible route to gaining a Master’s degree by studying in more manageable ‘bite-sized’ chunks.

Future directions for successful graduates of MSc Health Research may include studying at doctoral level or working as part of a research team (e.g. Research Nurse).

Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

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