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Clinical Research Part 2: Developing a Research Proposal HEA4066


This module will introduce students to the research process including philosophical fundamentals of both quantitative and qualitative traditions and a range of research methodologies. The module will guide students through the crucial stages of developing a research proposal. From conceptualisation of the research question, choosing the most appropriate design, planning methods, addressing ethical issues, identifying data management and data analysis strategies, and planning dissemination, the module will aim to introduce the novice researcher to various clinical research approaches and the necessary considerations to enable a rigorous plan of enquiry.

Module code:HEA4066
Module credits:30
Cost for new students:£1500 for 2024/25 academic year

If your tuition fee is being paid by a sponsor or you are a sponsor paying a student’s fee, you are required to send a copy of a purchase order to [email protected].

For further guidance please visit: Sponsored students – Edge Hill University

Who is this module for?

Healthcare professionals wishing to access as a stand alone module or as part of a Masters programme.

What are the key aims of the module?

  • To acquire the skills to search, retrieve and systematically appraise published research.
  • Identify and critically discuss appropriate research study design.
  • Conceptualise and plan a small-scale research project.
  • Critically appraise the ethical issues raised by the conduct of research.

How will I study?

This module normally requires attendance on 8 half day sessions. The module overall takes 21 weeks.

What will I study?

  • The rationale of methodological approaches
  • Strategies for searching and identifying literature
  • Critical appraisal of applied research methods
  • Generating a hypothesis/research question
  • Influencing factors in the design of clinical research studies
  • Utilising supporting evidence effectively
  • The validity and reliability of outcome measures
  • Quantitative data management
  • Approaches to statistical analysis
  • Qualitative data management and analysis
  • Ensuring rigour in qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Identifying ethical issues and planning effective strategies to address these
  • Ethical procedures processes and research governance
  • Systematic reviews and meta-synthesis as primary research
  • Principles of good clinical practice
  • Strategies for dissemination.

How will I be assessed?

5,000 word developed research proposal.

On successful completion you will:

On successful completion you will be able to:

  • Search, retrieve and systematically appraise published research in their specific discipline, area of expertise or professional practice and utilise this to underpin a chosen design for study.
  • Critically justify the adoption of a research methodological approach and consider its appropriateness in relation a research question.
  • Identify and critically discuss appropriate research study design.
  • Critically discuss approaches to, and justification for, the use of research methods in relation to a proposed research study including the use of a selected data analysis approach and its appropriateness when analysing specified data.
  • Conceptualise and plan a small-scale research project, justifying their proposals in order to demonstrate their awareness of both theoretical and relevant practical issues.
  • Critically appraise the ethical issues raised by the conduct of research and demonstrate the ability to highlight and address any specific issues within their proposed study, outlining ethical process that will need to be navigating in the course of the planning phase.

Study dates and venues

Venue: TBC

Starts: Saturday 17 February 2024

Session times:

For MCh and MMed students only.

  • Saturday 17 February 10:00am-5:00pm, Venue TBC
  • Saturday 16 March 10:00am-5:00pm, Venue TBC
  • Saturday 20 April 10:00am-5:00pm, Venue TBC
  • Saturday 18 May 10:00am-5:00pm, Venue TBC


Starts: Saturday 15 February 2025

Session times:

For MCh and MMed students only.

  • Saturday 15 February 2025, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturday 15 March 2025, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturday 19 April 2025, 10:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturday 17 May 2025, 10:00am-5:00pm

How to apply

Module availability varies from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Due to the popularity of some modules, it may be that the module is fully booked when your application is received. We will include your details on a waiting list and allocate you a place on the next available intake.

We encourage you to apply as early as possible to give you the best chance to obtain a place on your preferred cohort, module applications will close as soon as the module is full. Applications received within two weeks of the start date may have to be considered for a later cohort.

For details of how to apply, please visit the apply page.

Contact us

HEA 4066 S1

For further module information, please contact the Module Coordinator Kate Knighting on 01695 657170 or email [email protected].

HEA 4066 S2

For further module information, please contact the Module Coordinator, Phil Welsby on 01695 657169 or email [email protected].

Or you can contact the Medical School on [email protected].


This module can be studied on a standalone basis.

It is also an optional module on the following programmes: