BSc Speech and Language Therapy / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Clinical Research 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code PCHN10531
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit runs in the first semester of the first year of study and forms the first part of a Clinical Research strand which progresses through the second and third years of study.

The course unit will introduce study skills, research theory and methods including: research policy, principles, terminology and translation into practice; research ethics and governance; service user involvement in research; critical appraisal; and research design.


The unit aims to:

  • Provide students with opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of research theory and methods, and to gain key research and study skills required to (a) critically appraise the value of published research for clinical practice, (b) design their own clinical research project.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between clinical research and clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the Dept. of Health’s policies on evidence-based practice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of NHS research ethics and research governance.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of patient and public involvement in research.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of sampling, statistical power, type I and II errors.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between primary and secondary research.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the process of developing a research proposal.

Intellectual skills

  • Consider the value and limitations of a range of research designs.
  • Understand, manipulate and present basic numerical and statistical data.
  • Engage in self-directed learning that will promote professional development.
  • Critically evaluate published research findings.

Practical skills

  • Use appropriate methods to search for published research findings and original sources.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Effectively communicate ideas in written and verbal forms.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching processes utilise tutor led learning with a combination of pre-recorded lectures and face to face teaching (lectures, tutorials and workshops), and directed and self-directed independent learning using online resources; directed reading and small group working.

Student response technology (students respond to questions with keypads or mobile devices) is used in class to provide students with feedback on their own progress, benchmarked against their peers, and provides opportunity to note topics where they need to develop their understanding.

To support independent study, learning materials including lecture slides and recommended reading will be provided before teaching sessions on the unit's online Blackboard learning environment. Pre-recorded lectures, independent study tasks and online tests will be provided for students to self-assess their learning and identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.

Research active speech and language therapists are involved in the delivery of tutor led learning.

Assessment methods

  1. Written assignment: students answer two essay style questions (1500 words, 100%)
  2. Formative discussion task: students answer one essay style question (500 words)
  3. Weekly multiple-choice tests (15 minutes)
  4. Weekly small group tasks: students will work through small group activities in lecture time based on the content of the pre-recorded material (8 hours)


Feedback methods

A mark and individual, detailed tutor written feedback will be provided following the written assessment.

Following the multiple choice tests students will be presented with correct answers and have the opportunity to self-evaluate their performance and understanding benchmarked against their peers.

During the weekly small group tasks students will have the opportunity to self-evaluate their performance and understanding during tutor facilitated peer discussion.

Throughout the unit, students will have the opportunity to self-evaluate their work and understanding against class discussions and tutor comments.

Recommended reading

Pring, T. (2005). Research Methods in Communication Disorders. London and Philedelphia: Whurr Publishers.

Gravetter, F.J., & Forzano, L.B.. (2016). Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences, Fifth Edition. Cengage Leaning, Inc.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Samantha Durrant Unit coordinator

Return to course details