Module 2 Clinical Research Design

Answering a research question in an effective and ethical manner is contingent on understanding which is the most appropriate study design to implement in a given situation.  This clinical research module introduces students to common quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches, the principles and importance of appropriate study design and methods of critically evaluating research.

Principal module aims

This module enables students to:

  • Evaluate a range of potential study designs.

  • Select and defend the research design most appropriate to the research question being asked.

  • Critically examine published research.

Learning outcomes

  • Examine the application, merits, and limits of a range of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research methods.

  • Establish a method for identifying and selecting the most appropriate study design for a given research issue.

  • Discuss issues associated with the concepts of validity in research design.

  • Critically examine the effects of poor research design or improper design selection on outcome selection, measurement, and analysis.

  • Create a clinical research study and defend the choice of study design.

  • Evaluate issues concerning  patients and public involvement in research

  • Demonstrate capability in the appraisal of published research.

Teaching Topics

The outline syllabus gives an indication of the sort of topics that will be covered in the module.

  • Designs and Methodologies

  • Introduction to Qualitative and Mixed-Method Study Designs

  • Quantitative Study Designs

  • Population, Sampling, Bias and Validity

  • Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis

  • Choosing a Research Area and Study Design


Clinical Research Design Report (70%)

A 2,000-word written report on the design and justification of a clinical research study.

Clinical Research Design Examination (30%)

A 60-minute examination of the fundamentals of clinical research design, comprising MCQ and Key Feature Problem questions.  The examination of this module will take place at the end of the module.