Skills for Knowledge Enquiry

Gain knowledge and skills in conducting systematic reviews of evidence and critical appraisal of research. You will learn key steps in the process of systematic review such as developing a review question, devising a search strategy and more.

Key facts

  • Module codeNURP001
  • Start date The next intake will be confirmed in March 2024.
  • Duration11 weeks
  • Credit value SCQF 20
  • SCQF level Level 11
  • Fees 2023-24: £778.
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery online


Are you interested in informing an area of healthcare practice with the best-quality, up-to-date evidence? Do you want to inform policy with scientific evidence? Not all evidence is equal so, do you want to learn how to critically evaluate the quality of evidence you have gathered?

If yes, then this module is for you.

This module offers knowledge and skills in conducting systematic reviews of evidence and critical appraisal of research. You will learn the key steps in the process of systematic review such as developing a review question, devising a search strategy, searching electronic databases, screening, critical appraisal and report writing. You will have an opportunity to ‘learn by doing’ as you will apply these skills to a review question of your interest.

Flexible learning

This short course forms part of the MRes Health Research (Online). You can study other stand-alone continuing professional development (CPD) short courses from this degree:

If you’re interested in studying more than one module from this course, please email our Admissions team at to discuss your course of study.

Entrance requirements

It is suitable for professionals from a wide range of health and social care backgrounds, as well as students from other academic disciplines. Students can study online.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 56 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.


The module is designed to:

  • introduce the fundamentals of systematic review methodology and distinguish between systematic and other types of reviews;
  • outline key steps in the systematic review process and highlight the importance of methodological rigour, transparency, critical thinking and critical reflection;
  • develop the key practical skills required to conduct a systematic review (developing a research question, devising a search strategy, systematic searching using research databases, reporting search outcomes, screening, and critical appraisal including quality assessment).

Delivery and assessment

The module is available solely online and assessed through coursework. Assessment will be by a systematic literature search and an annotated bibliography relating to an area of relevance to the student: learning a key research skill.

Module coordinator

Dr Louise Hoyle


Most of our students are already working in health or social care prior to commencement and remain employed throughout the duration of their studies.

You will develop a wide range of transferable skills during your studies, which will make you attractive to other employers. For example:

  • team working;
  • IT skills;
  • literature researching;
  • critical appraisal;
  • presentation skills;
  • writing and data analysis.

Career opportunities

The MRes Health Research is designed for students who wish to pursue a variety of different careers in health where research is a core component. Students wish to make a contribution to applied research in a range of contemporary health and social contexts.

Most of our students are employed as health professionals whilst they study part-time with us. When they complete their studies most students will stay in their clinical speciality but use their enhanced research skills/knowledge in their roles e.g. by conducting their own research or service evaluations.

Some students wish to use their Masters study as preparation for a PhD. Our students have been very successful in gaining recognition for their research work and for winning funding for PhD study.

What next?

Contact us

If you have any questions about entry requirements for our continuing professional development and short courses, contact our Admissions team.

For all other questions, please use our enquiry form.