MSc Specialist Practice (Cancer) / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Managing research in the clinical setting

Unit code NURS60020
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by Nursing & Midwifery
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will focus on the practical aspects of managing a research project in a clinical setting and in accordance with required good practice methodological, ethical and governance standards. The unit will provide essential “know how” and practical skills to enable students to critically evaluate and apply a range of strategies to effectively manage clinical research studies in the context of contemporary policies and frameworks in clinical Research and Development that may affect their research.


  • Enable students to develop a critical understanding of the key principles of managing research within clinical environments.
  • Provide students with a robust and critical understanding of the relationship between epistemology and methodological issues in clinical research enabling them to contribute to methodological, political, social and moral debate about the contested nature, scope and purpose of such research.
  • Enable students to develop a critical understanding and practical skills necessary to successfully deliver high quality clinical research studies.

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be taught over one semester. The unit will be taught using a resource based approach in which all students will engage critically with online materials developed for the purpose. Online components will require students to engage with on-line materials, including interactive demonstrations and guided activities. Directed study components comprise additional exercises and specified reading related to each session/seminar. Students can also choose to undertake a one day placement within the Manchester Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility or at one of the NIHR Local Research Networks.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Articulate key debates related to different research paradigms and their application to clinical research.
  • Demonstrate in-depth and critical understanding of research governance and other legal frameworks relevant to clinical research.
  • Critically examine a range of processes involved in establishing and managing clinical research in health care contexts.
  • Demonstrate in depth knowledge of processes involved in retrieval, completion and submission of documentation for ethical and research governance approval.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills to participate in the planning and management of a clinical research project to ensure successful delivery of the study to a high standard.

Intellectual skills

  • Critically examine their own epistemological and ontological assumptions.
  • Critically examine the requirements for conducting research in a range of clinical settings.
  • Critically appraise current changes in clinical Research and Development and how these may affect research funding and management.
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the need for high quality clinical research and the importance of protecting research subjects and ensuring data integrity.

Practical skills

  • Locate and retrieve documentation for ethical approval and research governance in clinical settings.
  • Employ effective methods to maximise recruitment and informed consent for clinical research participants.
  • Utilise appropriate data management and quality control processes.
  • Develop knowledge and skills in promoting user/carer involvement in clinical research.
  • Participate in the planning and management of clinical research studies to target, adjusting plans to ensure successful delivery.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Critically reflect on their own academic performance and utilise a range of strategies to improve these and overcome any particular difficulties.
  • Further develop and enhance skills in effective communication to a range of audiences in a variety of settings.
  • Demonstrate skills in working collegiately and effectively with others as a member of a team.
  • Effectively utilise information technology / health informatics.
  • Utilise skills in systematic and creative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making in relation to complex issues.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 8
Tutorials 52
Independent study hours
Independent study 90

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sarah Rickard Unit coordinator

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