Independent study (degree level)

Key features

This 40 credit degree-level module will enable you to build on your existing knowledge of primary and secondary research in order to search for, identify, collate and appraise a range of evidence relating to your field of professional practice. It will also give you the opportunity to develop your critical appraisal skills.

Module code




FHEQ level

Level 6 - bachelors degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery in Plymouth

Course details

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • identify your own learning needs and develop independent learning skills over the timespan of the module
  • investigate an area of healthcare practice using an analytical approach
  • develop further your ability to select and retrieve relevant literature
  • carry out efficient and effective search strategies to retrieve relevant literature
  • critically appraise a body of evidence including research and theoretical literature
  • demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding of research evidence and subject area
  • critically appraise a body of evidence including primary and secondary resources (where available)
  • provide an analysis and synthesis of research evidence and discuss its relevance to professional practice.


The assessment for this module is an 8,000 word literature review of a practice focused research topic.

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

Module dates

The taught dates for this module are 23 September 2021 and 28 October 2021.  

This module is planned for face to face delivery, however the University is following government advice around COVID 19 and the module may need to be delivered online. 

(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 – for further information please contact the Professional Development Unit.

This module is a core module for our BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Health and Social Care, as well as all other BSc (Hons) Professional Development pathways.

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.

Access to: 

  • application forms 
  • change of name forms
  • pre-course information
  • downloadable guides
  • student card.

Visit our admissions homepage for full details.

Entry requirements

To be eligible for this module you must be either a registered health and social care professional or a health and social care worker in possession of previous study at level 5 or a foundation degree.

If you wish to undertake this module to achieve the BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Health and Social Care (or other pathway), you must also have completed 80 credits relevant to your chosen pathway.

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 Educational Co-ordinator in the first instance. If you work in the private, independent or voluntary sector, please contact your employer who will advise you accordingly.