BNurs Mental Health Nursing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Research in Professional Practice (Major Project)

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS41000
Credit rating 45
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit gives students the opportunity to conduct an independent piece of work comprising secondary research methods; either conduiting a literature review incorporating systematic methods (systematized review) or a research project utilising secondary data. The unit emphasises the potential for empirical knowledge to contribute to and enhance evidence-based practice and recognises the value of utilising existing data and evidence sources for knowledge generation. Students may gain a broad range to knowledge and skills in the conduct of research to support clinical practice. This unit comprises primarily independent learning and students are allocated individual supervisors from among research academics. The sequence and timing of delivering core research methods teaching supports the students journey through the research process.


  • Provide students with the opportunity to undertake a small research project utilizing secondary research methods.
  • Enable students to pursue a topic of professional interest area in depth.
  • Allow students to build a systematic understanding and critical awareness of a broad range of methodologies to evaluate and interpret research and scholarship in nursing.
  • Facilitate students in gaining technical skills for research and inquiry in the development of knowledge in their own area of professional interest.

Teaching and learning methods

  • Development of a previously written literature review into a proposal for research; students will use their literature review produced in year three (level 6) to develop their research proposal. Having knowledge and understanding of previous work undertaken will enable students to progress their research proposal in a timely manner. A7, A8, B3, D1, D2, D3
  • Gain ethical approval; students will submit and gain ethical approval and understand the procedure to do this. A7, A8, B3, D2, D3
  • Collect and analyse data; students will obtain access to research participants through negotiation with gate keepers and will obtain consent and collect data. Data collected will be analysed using the appropriate methods, using data analysis tools where appropriate. A7, A8, B1, D2, D3
  • Identify and critically evaluate limitations, recommendations and implications for practice for further research; students will use their skills and knowledge to critically interpret the results form their study to determine any limitations, recommendations and limitations of their study. A7, A8, B1, B3, B6, C6, D1, D2, D3, D7
  • Write a detailed research report with key findings relating to the process; students will write a 5,000 research report concluding with a summary of key recommendations. A8, B1, B3, B6, C6, D1, D2, D3, D7
Key note lectures
Small group seminars
On-line learning
Blended learning
Work based learning
Independent study

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the monitoring and quality improvement processes that underpin the delivery of safe and effective nursing care. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively retrieve and appraise a range of data/information that underpins and informs the evidence base for nursing practice with specific reference to their own field of practice.

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate a coherent understanding of the key aspects of nursing practice through critical analysis and synthesis of information/data from a wide range of sources, at least some of which is at the forefront of the discipline of their own field of practice. 
  • Critically appraise the evidence base for nursing interventions and consider strategies for further research and/or practice development with specific reference to their own field of practice. 
  • Critically reflect on their own professional development to identify abilities, limitations, and opportunities to improve their nursing practice.

Practical skills

  • Facilitate learning amongst peers, colleagues and service users.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate logical and systematic thinking and the ability to draw reasoned conclusions and sustainable judgement strategies to improve these.
  • Manage both independent study and the demands of professional practice effectively.
  • Demonstrate effective use of information technology, library, electronic and online resources to enable effective engagement with the programme and to develop fundamental skills for life-long learning.

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
Fieldwork 50
Lectures 4
Practical classes & workshops 2
Project supervision 10
Seminars 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 381

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Laoise Renwick Unit coordinator

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