BSc Speech and Language Therapy / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Clinical Research 3

Course unit fact file
Unit code PCHN30531
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Clinical Research 3 runs in the first semester of the final year of study and it is the third year course unit for the Clinical Research strand of the degree programme. Students will complete a clinical research assignment designed to consolidate and extend their research knowledge and skills gained from Clinical Research 1 and 2, and provide students with the skills necessary to undertake and use clinical research in their future professional/research roles.


The unit aims to:

  • Provide students with opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in the development and design of clinical research to enable them to contribute to the clinical research agenda or consider progression to postgraduate research.
  • Provide students with opportunities to develop critical appraisal skills necessary for work as an evidence-based practitioner or clinical researcher.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to extend their learning in an area of specialist study of their choosing.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Acquire and demonstrate coherent and detailed knowledge and systematic understanding on a topic related to human communication and the provision of SLT services.
  • Describe, synthesise and critically evaluate published research findings, identifying and justifying important areas for research.
  • Demonstrate and apply detailed knowledge of research methodologies and design, showing an understanding of practical considerations (e.g., ethics, scope, resources).
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the role of service user and public involvement in research, and the incorporation of the views, values and recommendations of service users/public into research study design.
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of their own methodological design.

Intellectual skills

  • Devise a research proposal, and present it clearly and accurately (both orally and in writing).
  • Acquire, organise and synthesise information from a wide range of sources.
  • Interpret and critically evaluate information on complex topics, demonstrating an understanding of the theoretical, statistical and methodological issues involved, and drawing reasoned conclusions justified by reference to the evidence considered.
  • Practically apply the knowledge obtained from the literature to current situations, and to the solution of problems.
  • Understand the importance and application of the available information to the provision of speech and language therapy services.

Practical skills

  • Consolidate, extend and apply knowledge of research methods and statistics to plan and design a viable research study.
  • Critically evaluate theories, methods and data to make reasoned arguments, and to identify a range of solutions to a problem.
  • Provide constructive feedback on the work of a peer, identifying strengths and making constructive suggestions for improvement where appropriate.
  • Use library, electronic and online resources, and perform database searches effectively and with purpose.
  • Write clearly and concisely in an appropriate formal style in order to communicate information to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Demonstrate organisation and time management skills.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in oral or written interaction across a range of audiences.
  • Prioritise workload and manage time effectively.
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of personal and interactional attributes and modify them as necessary in a professional environment.
  • Continue to engage in self-directed learning that will promote professional development.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching processes involve practical experiential learning and use of self-directed study, peer supervision groups, tutor-facilitated group discussion and lecture-based tutorials.

Students will work independently to produce their own proposals, but will also work in small peer-based supervision groups, where they will provide each other with support, input, and feedback during the development of their independent assignments. Peer supervision is supported with use of online discussion forums.

Students will also take part in tutor-facilitated peer group sessions, where tutors will facilitate discussions aimed to provide feedback regarding progress at key stages throughout the unit.

Assessment methods

  1. Research Proposal Assignment (3500 words, 100%)
  2. Progress Check Summaries (250 words, formative)

Feedback methods

Students will be able to receive tutor and peer verbal feedback on their progress during tutor-facilitated group discussions at regular points throughout the semester.

Upon completion of the assignment, students will receive a mark and detailed evaluative tutor written feedback on their research proposals.

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

Recommended reading

Clinical Research 3 (Advanced Study Option) Guidebook.

See Clinical Research 1 and 2 for research and statistics core texts.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 3
Practical classes & workshops 6
Seminars 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 187

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Katherine Twomey Unit coordinator

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