Study Design for Health Research

Develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of methodology and study design for health research - essential skills for employment in the health research sector.

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Key facts

  • Module codeNURP008
  • Start date 23 Sep 2024
  • Application deadline9 Sep 2024
  • Duration11 weeks
  • Credit value SCQF 20
  • SCQF level Level 11
  • Fees £817
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery online


Health research is essential to generate evidence to protect and promote the health of individuals and populations. In this online module, you will develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of methodology and study design for health research. This would be essential for any employment in the health research sector.

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

A minimum of a second-class honours degree (2:1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

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.


Learning outcomes of this module are:

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of different research methodologies and their philosophical foundations.

  2. Compare a range of qualitative and quantitative study designs relevant to health and social care research.

  3. Critically evaluate different study designs for answering specific research questions.

  4. Apply knowledge to identify challenges inherent in conducting research studies in practice and potential strategies to address these challenges.

Structure and content

The module will be delivered using a range of online approaches including pre-recorded lectures, webinars, reading, quizzes, discussion boards, group work and student presentations.

You will explore:

  • different research approaches and their philosophical underpinnings;
  • the range of study designs used to address different research questions in health;
  • the challenges of conducting health research in practice.

Delivery and assessment

This module has weekly recorded lectures and associated reading, with activities and examples that you can work through at your own pace. There are also weekly ‘face-to-face’ webinars to consolidate your understanding. Module tutors are all experienced and practising health researchers.

Assessment will be in the form of a presentation delivered online and an online examination. Both elements will need to be passed.

Module coordinator

Dr Emma France


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

Our students develop a wide range of transferable skills during their study that make them attractive to other employers, for example:

  • team working;
  • IT skills;
  • literature searching;
  • 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.