HAR6043: Introduction to Research Methods (online)


This module provides students with an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods and to the types of skills necessary for the planning, data gathering and dissemination stages of health-related research.

Topics covered include: 

  • Research Design;
  • Methods of Data Collection;
  • Approaches to Analysing Data and Writing a Research Proposal.

The course provides a foundation for further learning in specific research methods. It is primarily designed for new students beginning Masters courses in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and there is an emphasis on research techniques used in public health and health services research (HSR).


  • To equip students with a basic understanding of the underlying principles of quantitative and qualitative research and the links between the two
  • To introduce students to the key data generation methods of current use in public health and health-related research
  • To enable students to chose the most appropriate research method to address a particular research question
  • To enable students to gain a basic overview of a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches to analysis
  • To provide students with the knowledge and skill to undertake the design of a health-related research proposal

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to :-

  • Describe a range of quantitative and qualitative research designs used in health research and identify the advantages and disadvantages associated with these designs.
  • Design an appropriate mixed-method research study to answer a health-related research question.
  • Choose appropriate quantitative or qualitative method to collect data.
  • Write a research proposal suitable for submission to a research funding body.

Teaching Methods

This is an online distance learning module. The teaching methods include guided independent study and facilitated discussions with constructive feedback. MOLE online resources, including reading, audio/visual materials and self-assessment exercises, will be used to provoke critical thinking. In addition, synchronous small group tutorials will be held to allow students to share their knowledge and experiences providing opportunities to consolidate their learning.

Assessment Details

Component Weighting
Online Journal Entries (5) 0% (formative assessment)
Mixed Methods research proposal (2000 words) 100%

Assessment 1 (formative) involves the completion of five online journal entries.

Assessment 2 (summative) students are required to develop a 2000 word mixed methods research proposal.