Unit 6: Research Project

Unit 6:
Research Project
Unit code:
QCF level:
Credit value:
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• Aim
This unit aims to develop learners’ skills of independent
enquiry and critical analysis by undertaking a sustained research investigation
of direct relevance to their higher education programme and professional
• Unit abstract
This unit is designed to develop learners’ understanding and
confidence in the use of techniques and methods appropriate for research in
health and social care. Learners will be expected to consider the elements that
make up formal research, including the proposal, and methodologies. They will
also action plan carry out the research and presenting their findings. Learners
will also consider ethical aspects of formal research.
The topic of the research project is dependent on the

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learner’s focus of interest within the context of their programme of study and
experience in health and social care, with due regard to ethical constraints of
research in this sector. The unit gives learners the opportunity to draw
together learning from several aspects of their study into a coherent holistic
piece of work that makes a positive contribution to their area of interest.
Learners should seek approval from their tutors before starting the study.
• Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this unit a learner will:
Understand how to formulate a research specification
2 Be able to implement the research project within agreed
procedures and to specification
3 Be able to evaluate the research outcomes
4 Be able to present the research outcomes.
Unit content
1 Understand
how to formulate a research specification
Types of research: qualitative; quantitative; tools for gathering primary
data eg questionnaires, interviews; use of participants; sampling; validity;
reliability eg variables and their control; resources; data storage;
statistical techniques for data analysis eg distribution, statistical
specifications of possible projects: aims and objectives; rationale for selection; literature
review; hypothesis or research question; methodology for data collection and
analysis; possible outcomes from suggested projects
project selection:
critique of outline specifications eg scope, limitations; implications eg
resources, ethical issues
Key references: books; journals; internet
Research project specification: aims and objectives; rationale for their selection;
hypothesis or research question; justification (through literature review,
skills and knowledge to be gained, resource availability including time);
methodology for gathering primary data and data analysis
Ethical considerations: codes of practice; relating to participants eg informed
consent, confidentiality of data, right to withdraw; data storage; analysis;
audience for reporting of project

Understanding specific need in health and social care

Unit 6 Research project
Plan: overall strategy and duration; tasks with target dates;
presentation of results; scheduled monitoring process; recording of amendments
to plan
2 Be able to
implement the research project within agreed procedures and to specification
resources: to agreed plan; terms of
reference; hypothesis or research question; ethical boundaries
Implementation: according to approved research plan; test for validity eg
pilot research tools; estimates for reliability
Data collection: selection of participants; selection of appropriate tools
for data collection, eg question and questionnaire design, interview questions;
systematic recording of data eg in transcripts; methodological problems eg
bias, variables and their control, validity and reliability
Be able to evaluate the research outcomes
of outcomes: judgement of
the success or failure of the planned project justified eg in relation to
research plan, aims and objectives, evidence and findings, sources of error,
validity, reliability of data collected; difficulties
Data analysis and interpretation: quantitative eg using specialist software, statistical
techniques; qualitative eg interpreting transcripts; sources of error; bias;
comparisons; trends; additional secondary research as required; extent to which
hypothesis proved or disproved or research question answered; significance of
research investigation to health and social care eg benefits, furthering
understanding, application of research results; limitations of the
investigation; conclusion(s)
Recommendations: for further development eg areas for further research,
improvements, changes to practice

Unit 4 – Personal  and professional development in health and social care
Be able to present the research outcomes
professional delivery format appropriate to the audience eg oral presentation,
written report; answering questions from audience on research project; use of
academic referencing
Learning outcomes and assessment criteria
Unit 17 Project Development and Implementation for Strategic Managers
Learning outcomes
Assessment criteria for pass
On successful completion of
The learner can:
this unit a learner will:
LO1 Understand how to
formulate and record possible
research project outline
formulate a research
identify the factors that
contribute to the process of
research project selection
undertake a critical review of key
produce a research project
provide an appropriate plan and
procedures for the
agreed research specification
LO2 Be able to implement the
match resources efficiently to the
research question or
research project within
agreed procedures and to
undertake the proposed research
investigation in
accordance with the agreed
specification and

Understanding specific need in health and social care
record and collate relevant data
where appropriate
LO3 Be able to evaluate the
use appropriate research
evaluation techniques
research outcomes
interpret and analyse the results
in terms of the original
research specification
make recommendations and justify
areas for further
LO4 Be able to present the
use an agreed format and
appropriate media to present
research outcomes
the outcomes of the research to an
This unit may be linked to one or more units in the programme,
depending on the research topic undertaken.
This unit also has links with the National Occupational
Standards in Health and Social Care. See Annexe B for mapping.
Essential requirements
It is advised that this unit is delivered longitudinally over
a period of one year. The ethical issues that arise in health and social care
research should be discussed in detail and should encompass aspects relating to
protection of participants as well as data analysis and reporting of results.
Learners should also be introduced to simple statistical analyses and selection
of the appropriate method for presenting continuous and discontinuous
statistical information, for example in tables, charts and graphs.
Although work-based experience
may well generate ideas for research, any research carried out within a health
or social care setting will require ethical approval from the relevant NHS
strategic health authority. Any research carried out in a health or social care
workplace may also depend upon the employed status of the learner in that
The tutor should establish early on the employment and
qualification status of individual learners and any constraints on research in
their place of work that may apply. Every project in which the workplace is
involved should have written consent consistent with the ethical guidelines of
the workplace and the tutor should check that these are fully in place before
any primary research commences.
The research proposal should contain detailed consideration
of the ethical issues relating to the project. Evidence for learning outcome 2
should include evidence of small-scale piloting of the research tools to be used as a test for
their validity and reliability.
Before approving projects, the tutor will need to establish
that each learner has sufficient access to suitable resources to support their
project proposal.
Employer engagement and vocational contexts
with health and social care employers would be beneficial for both learners who
are employees and those on work placement in settings. An understanding of the
broad assessment requirements, the unit could be shared with employer.

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