MPH Occupational Health

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Guideline Development and Implementation

Course unit fact file
Unit code POPH68012
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Practically this module will help to enable clinicians to evaluate whether to use guidelines and to provide them with an understanding about approaches to implementation in the local setting. Methodologically, this module will provide those interested in careers in health scientists with an understanding of approaches to guideline development and implementation.

The module will cover:

  • Identifying a need for guidelines
  • Identifying relevant stakeholders
  • Identifying evidence
  • Development processes including a range of case studies
  • Critical appraisals of guidelines including development processes
  • Strategies and interventions to support the translation of evidence into practice, including the role of behavioural science for implementation
  • Evaluating and updating guidelines
  • Guideline repositories


The unit aims to produce students who understand the importance producing timely, useable and implementable evidence based guidelines to improve the quality of patient care. The module will provide students with knowledge about the processes of guideline development with a strong focus on the implementation of guidelines throughout all stages of the production of the guidelines. Students will also understand the role of evaluation and updating of guidelines.

Learning outcomes

Category of outcome Students should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding

A1 Demonstrate a comprehensive overview of a range of processes for developing evidence based guidelines

A2 Demonstrate students with an overview of how the implementation of guidelines can be embedded into to their production

A3 Demonstrate knowledge of the range of guideline development processes

A4 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of behavioural science in implementing evidence-based guidelines

Intellectual skills

B1 Critically appraise guidelines and the use of guidelines

B2 Critically evaluate different guideline development processes

B3 Identify the suitability of guidelines for a particular setting and identify implementation strategies for use in a local setting

Practical skills C1 Be prepared to develop and implement evidence based guidelines
Transferable skills and personal qualities

D1 Be able to assess of potential problems to implementation of change

D2 Demonstrate the ability to evaluate his/her own academic progression

D3 Demonstrate effective team working by taking responsibility for carrying out tasks within a group

D4 Carefully consider the appropriate communication of guidelines to various specific audiences


Teaching and learning methods

All content will be provided online via Blackboard. This will include materials to be worked through in the student’s own time, video content explaining concepts and tutorials showing students how to use software, discussion boards, self-directed reading. Students will be expected to read all articles that are marked as ‘required’ and to participate in discussion boards on a regular basis. While students are expected to engage with all discussion boards, they will not be penalised for non-participation. However, one of the discussion boards will form part of the assessment and students will be required to participate in this discussion in order to complete the graded task.

Students will also be asked to maintain a reflective learning log to enable an awareness of knowledge and skills gained and to help identify any gaps where further work is required. The benefits of this learning log will be outline in the first week of the module and students will be provided with a template and guidance around how to use their learning logs. Students will be strongly encouraged to engage with this activity and will be provided with the opportunity for feedback from a course tutor, however this will not be a required activity and students will not be penalised for not engaging.

Participation rates in the discussion boards will be monitored and students who are not engaging will be approached informally by a course tutor via email. This will help to identify students who may be struggling and act as an opportunity to make them aware of the range of support offered by the University (e.g. English language support, disability support etc.)

Employability skills

Analytical skills
This unit will equip students with the skills to critically evaluate guidelines and enable them to select approaches to the implementation of guidelines in the local setting.
Group/team working
Guideline development and implementation, in practice, is carried out by groups rather than individuals. This unit will encourage students to work together in groups to evaluate guidelines. We envisage that students who successfully complete this unit will appreciate the value of multi-disciplinary team working for making complex decisions.
This unit will provide aspiring health scientists with the methodological skills to pursue research careers in the areas of guideline development and implementation.

Assessment methods

Assessment task Weighting within unit
Midterm assignment 35%
Final assignment 50%
Group task (week 8) 15%


Feedback methods

Students will be provided with personalised feedback for their mid-term and final summative assignments, within 15 working days for mid-term assignments and 20 working days for final submission.

Further opportunities for formative feedback (on non-assessed work) will also be provided during a course unit. 

Recommended reading

Grol, R. Wensing, M. Eccles, M. Davies, D. (2013) ‘Improving Patient Care the Implementation of Change in Health Care’ Hoboken: Wiley 2nd ed. [ebook via Library]

Brownson, R. Colditz, G. Proctor, E. (2012) Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health: Translating Science to Practice, Oxford, Oxford University Press [ebook via Library]

Francesci, C. (2014) Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Health Care and Translational Science [ebook via Library] Springer eBooks, Berlin, Heidelberg

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Lucy O'Malley Unit coordinator

Additional notes

For further information please watch this video from our Course Unit Leader.

If you have any questions about the content of this unit, please contact the course unit leader, Lucy O'Malley, via email on If you have any other queries please contact the PGT programme administrators via email on

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