MSc Advanced Leadership for Professional Practice (Allied Health Profession)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Advanced Evidence Based Practice

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS60045
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit has been developed in response to growing student feedback that our current provision which relies upon our online MRes research methods training does not meet the learning needs of students on programmes attracting those who need to understand and use research to inform and transform practice rather than in order to design and conduct a piece of primary research /evidence synthesis, as independent researchers.

This feedback has come through repeatedly via informal evaluations, the open comments of the Postgraduate Taught Student Survey (most recently 2016/2017) and a survey of graduates of one of our programmes who consider that the online research methods units they had completed had been the least helpful aspect of the programme.

Given the importance of postgraduate students being able to understand and critically evaluate diverse sources of research we have decided to prepare a new unit for this group of learners. We are also mindful that students have found the online learning environment challenging and so we are proposing a blended model of delivery for this unit. Online resources and moderated activities on the University of Manchester’s virtual learning environment will be supported by face to face learning activities. Facilitated online activities will be structured to maximise student engagement and facilitate deeper learning. The team aim to energise students to engage with research/review findings in a critical way to inform and transform practice.


There are four key aims of this unit:
  • To furnish students with the knowledge to understand the research process and the steps required to formulate a specific and answerable research question
  • To equip students with the skills needed to match study designs to answer outstanding questions re:  health/social care practice including qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodologies
  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills to critically evaluate primary research and evidence synthesis in order to inform and transform  their own health and social care practice and that of their colleagues
  • To serve as a platform for the dissertation unit where students are required to complete an adapted systematic review or a proposal for service transformation
Attention to patient and public involvement in all aspects of the research process will be pervasive throughout the unit teaching.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning processes are presented below. The unit will be based upon a blended approach incorporating both in-person/live streamed sessions and self-directed study focusing on flipped and active learning.
Interactive workshops will be held at the start of the unit to orientate students to unit content and teaching/learning approaches and be offered at regular intervals during the semester.
The above activities will be supplemented with in-person/remotely delivered journal clubs.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Describe in detail different types of research methodologies
  • Critically appraise the place of research in the wider context understanding broader ethical issues relating to the design, conduct and reporting of research
  • Participate in robust debate re: whether various approaches may be appropriate/inappropriate for their work based health and social care practice
  • Understand some basic statistical concepts required to interpret research/evidence synthesis
  • Critically assess the quality of research using a range of assessment tools
  • Understand the role of ethics and PPI in the research process

Intellectual skills

  • Critically evaluate the limitations of extant knowledge and evidence within the relevant practice setting.
  • Identify strengths/weaknesses of different study designs.
  • Think critically about whether research studies are using the most appropriate study design and the robustness of study findings.
  • Interpret outcomes of research in the context of their health/social care practice and propose changes (or not)  as a result of research findings.

Practical skills

  • Search for a diverse range of sources quickly and efficiently
  • Identify areas of uncertainty to formulate focused, answerable questions which are of relevance to practitioners and the service users they work with
  • Use principles of evidence based health/social care to inform the review and transformation of practice

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Evaluate the impact of their work on their own and other professionals practice
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in identifying, tackling and solving problems
  • Communicate complex ideas in concise written formats

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. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 40
Project supervision 100
Tutorials 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 158

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Helen Brooks Unit coordinator

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