Advancing research knowledge in practice 2 (masters level)

Key features

This 20 credit masters-level module aims to enable you to develop your skills in the planning and designing of a research or practice development project. This module is core to all MSc programmes within the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

By the end of this module you will be able to provide a clear rationale for your research and select and justify appropriate research methodologies, methods of data collection and analysis. You will be enabled to critically discuss the ethical issues involved in proposed research and demonstrate critical awareness of rigour, reliability and validity in research. You will also develop a clear, logical and ethical research or practice development project proposal with timeline.  

Please note that you must have completed the module Advancing research knowledge in practice 1 before enrolling on this module. 

Module code




FHEQ level

Level 7 - masters degree


Blended learning approach with face to face delivery in Plymouth

*This module was previously known as MCH502

Course details

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

Session 1 – introduction to the research question: provides the basis to develop a research question with appropriate research methodologies and methods of data collection and retrieval.

Session 2 – advance literature search and critical review: development of critical review and principles of comprehensive literature searching will be enhanced.

Session 3 – formulating the question: allows you to formulate a research question with emphasis on research aims and objectives.

Session 4 – research design with appropriate methods and analysis: focuses on the selection and justification of the appropriate research designs and methods of data collection, leading to the appropriate data analysis.

Workshop 1 – planning and developing your timeline: develop a comprehensive time line and costing for the development of your project, with attention to possible submission to relevant research and development committees.

Workshop 2 – group presentation of research proposals: present your research proposal with peer discussion.

Module dates

This module will be delivered twice over the forthcoming academic year. The taught dates are:

September 2017 delivery: 14, 15, 18, 19 and 20 September 2017.

April 2018 delivery: 12, 13, 16, 17 and 18 April 2018.

(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.


The assessment for this module is a written research or practice development project proposal, covering amongst other things critical reviews of literature and the identification of a research question, methods of data collection and analysis, an understanding of the ethics involved in conducting research and a timeline for the research or practice development project.

(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 Critical Care Practitioner 

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) 

MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Education)

MSc Surgical Care Practitioner (all pathways)

Our students say...

  • A I have found the course stimulating and it has increased my knowledge in the research process. (April 2017 cohort)
  • A Being with other academics/clinical practitioners - having a common rationale for undertaking the course and wishing to achieve MSc award. (April 17 cohort)
  • A Overall the teaching has been excellent. (April 17 cohort)

Rachel Pascoe, Module Lead

Entry requirements

To be considered for a place on the module:

  • you will have completed the module Advancing research knowledge in practice 1. 
  • 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

Fees for 2017/18 academic year

Please see our professional development module fees page.


Funding for this module may be available through your employing trust. To apply please contact your Trust’s Educational Co-ordinator who will guide you through the application process.

If you work in the private, independent and voluntary sector, please contact your employer who will advise you.