HAR6029: Systematically Reviewing the Research Literature (online)

The Systematically Reviewing the Research Literature (online) module is led by Jo Leaviss. It runs in the Autumn semester and is worth 15 credits.


The Systematically Reviewing the Research Literature (online) module is led by Jo Leaviss. It runs in the Autumn semester and is worth 15 credits.

It is one of the modules on:

This module is available as a CPD option

This module is available Department-wide in year 1 as a DDP module

On MSc Clinical Research you can choose either HAR6029 or HAR6501, not both.


Delivered by online learning. With increasing recognition of their importance across such disciplines as education, computing, management, social care and healthcare this unit provides an introduction to systematic review methods.

The unit aims to demonstrate the importance of reviewing the literature systematically regardless of whether or not the desired end product is a formal systematic review.

It is aimed at: students embarking on studies towards an MPhil/PhD across the University to equip them with skills for lifelong acquisition and synthesis of evidence from research; and health care professionals who are looking for an introduction to systematic reviewing and prefer an online learning course.


This module aims to provide students with the know-how and skills to find and critically appraise research literature, and successfully complete a systematic literature review.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:

  • Describe the distinguishing characteristics of a systematic review and identify the main sources of such reviews
  • Summarise the main strengths and limitations of systematic review methods
  • Recognise appropriate review techniques and tools of potential applicability to the student’s academic discipline
  • Demonstrate the application of systematic methods of literature review to a research topic of the student’s own selection
  • Analyse critically and synthesise the findings of key research studies that address the student’s research question

Teaching methods

  • Recorded lectures
  • Tutor support
  • Problem solving/examples
  • Online interaction

The teaching content is delivered via the My Online Learning Environment (MOLE) facility in the form of 12 online learning units.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Information last updated: 15 June 2022

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