Speech & Language CPD

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Evidence Based Practice & Service Evaluation in Speech & Language Therapy Part B

Course unit fact file
Unit code HCDI63542
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit builds on the Clinical Research strand of the programme and the course unit Evidence based practice in speech and language therapy A. In preceding learning, students will have had the opportunity to extend their core knowledge and understanding of evidence based practice, to understand how to synthesise a body of evidence and to apply this knowledge to clinical and service based evaluations.

Through online learning tasks, students will consider the following content in two parts:

Part B1) Making an evidence based case:

  • Understanding interpreting outcome data: outcome methodology and statistical interpretation of outcome data
  • Synthesising evidence: statistical methods for combining multiple studies and meta-analysis.
  • Making recommendations from bodies of evidence
  • Building an evidence based case

Part B2) Internal and patient evidence; service evaluation in speech and language therapy:.

  • Practice based evidence and its role in clinical decision making
  • Patient related evidence
  • Qualitative research – its role in evidence based practice
  • Creating local evidence: service evaluation in speech and language therapy


The unit aims to:

  • Provide students with the opportunity to develop practice-focused skills in evidence based practice methodologies.
  • Provide students with opportunities to gain an understanding of how evidence is implemented through systematic reviews, clinical guidelines and dissemination of practice.
  • Provide students with opportunities to gain understanding of statistical appraisal of evidence (including outcome measures) and the importance of meta-analyses of quantitative clinical research. 
  • Provide students with opportunities to gain the knowledge and understanding to carry out a critical appraisal of a chosen body of evidence.
  • Provide students will opportunities to gain knowledge about the role of qualitative research as evidence and the synthesis of a body of qualitative clinical research. 
  • Provide students with opportunities to gain an understanding of the evaluation of local services and of the selection of appropriate methodologies to create local evidence.  
  • Provide students with the opportunities to reflect on and critique the current state of evidence in a speech and language therapy specialism.

Provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, to self evaluate and to receive feedback from tutors.

Teaching and learning methods

This course will be delivered using a combination of e-learning materials, as well as a range of interactive features within the Blackboard eLearning environment.

Each of the 2 parts of the course unit will have relevant online interactive learning materials to assist the student’s evaluation of his/her own independent learning.

Discussion board topics, formative on-line quizzes and two Learning Journal tasks (where the student is asked to reflect on their learning outcomes and record their findings in an online journal tool) offer further opportunities to explore each topic. Learning journal tasks also allow formative assessment of learning through directed reading.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the main principles of evidence based practice in speech and language therapy and related disciplines.
  • Apply EBP principles to the evaluation and design of evaluations relevant to practice.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the methods required for the implementation of evidence and how to achieve this at the service and individual practitioner levels.


Intellectual skills

  • Apply critical appraisal and critical synthesis skills in generating reports of current evidence.
  • Critically evaluate a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies used in primary and secondary evidence creation.
  • Apply knowledge to synthesize evidence from the chosen set of primary research papers on one aspect of speech and language therapy according to area of clinical interest.

Practical skills

  • Design a small-scale service evaluation appropriate to the student’s area of clinical interest.
  • Study the purposes and techniques of non-experimental methods in small-scale service evaluations.


Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Understand sources of evidence and create a customised set of library searches.
  • Understand how evidence based findings can be effectively disseminated.
  • Participate actively in group discussions and blogs. about the application of evidence to practice,
  • Communicate effectively on-line with tutor.  
  • Demonstrate the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.



Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback from the on-line quizzes will be automated and immediate, recommending which areas of study require further work, allowing students to self-evaluate their work and understanding.

The submission of the on-line Learning Journal will allow the student to evaluate their engagement with the teaching material and will also contribute to the planning of their final assignment.

A summative mark and detailed, individual tutor written feedback will be provided following the submission of the written assignment.

Throughout the unit, students will have the opportunity to self-evaluate their work and understanding using both the Discussion Board tool and during problem-based learning activities in tutorials.

Recommended reading

Hoffman, T., Bennett, S. & Del Mar, C. (Eds.) (2013). Evidence-based practice across the health professions. 2nd Ed. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, London.

Joanna Briggs Institute Evidence base resources


 Robson, C. (2017). Small-scale evaluation: Principles and practice. Sage.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Paul Conroy Unit coordinator

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