Module MSE-2003:
Research Skills

Module Facts

Run by School of Medical Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Miss Alyson Moyes

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to develop students' research skills and knowledge to complete their project proposal.

Course content

Understanding the purpose of research and identifying research designs, methodologies and sampling.

Sourcing and retrieving information/data from relevant databases.

Selecting, and interpreting relevant journal articles/ readings/data, and make recommendations or conclusions about the literature review.

Use SPSS (a software package used for statistical analysis) to input data and to carry out simple statistical tasks and make comments on the outputs.

Be able to identify a topic area for research, learn how to formulate and test a hypothesis, and produce a proposal to undertake the research.

Assessment Criteria



D- to D +

Demonstrates a basic knowledge of the course material. Finds it challenging to collect & analyse research data, and has problems extracting information from the scientific literature.



B- to B+

Demonstrates a good knowledge and understanding of research principles and design, showing good capacity to address, formulate, and answer basic research questions together with good understanding of statistical tests/procedures and how to analyse and present outputs. Limited evidence of critical thinking and original ideas.


C- to C+

Demonstrates a reasonable understanding of research skills and how to utilise them. Can annotate data and interpret results in a rudimentary way. No deeper knowledge of statistical analysis where appropriate. No evidence of original thinking.



A- to A*

Demonstrates a deep knowledge and understanding of research design and principles and has an excellent capacity to address, formulate, and answer basic research questions together with an excellent understanding of statistical tests/procedures. In addition to the above, the ability to illustrate and enhance arguments and analyses through the use of relevant supporting evidence drawn from the established literature. Good-to-very good understanding of statistical analyses where appropriate. The research need/hypothesis is well supported by evidence.

Evidence of wider reading & critical thinking is required for A+ and A* marks. The difference between the marks reflects the strength of the argument.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand how to collect primary data and identify sources of secondary data

  2. Understand the purpose of research

  3. Understand the types of research

  4. Understand the basic data analysis techniques for answering research questions and testing hypothesis

  5. Demonstrate understanding of sampling

  6. Understand basic research terminology

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Critical Review 40
Written assignment, including essay Project Proposal 50
Written assignment, including essay CV 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy


3 x 2 hour seminars

Individual Project

Timetabled time where students are able to meet with their project supervisors and work on their project proposal.

Private study

Students undertake self-directed study to build understanding of taught content as well as having time to work on coursework set during the module (CV, critical review and project proposal)


13 x 2 hour lectures where students will be delivered course content or set self-directed study tasks.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in