Clinical Research and Evidence-based Practice

Module titleClinical Research and Evidence-based Practice
Module codePYCM073
Academic year2018/9
Module staff

Dr Ian Frampton (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The development of effective psychological treatments requires the practical application of clinical epidemiology using a range of methodological and statistical approaches. In this module you will gain an advanced understanding of the range of research methodologies required to establish a sound evidence for practice. This includes evidence synthesis, qualitative approaches, phase II feasibility designs, randomised controlled trials, observational and surveillance methods, health economics, process evaluations and implementation science methods. The majority of the module is delivered across three terms by an online computer assisted learning package, supplemented by practical exercises to extend statistical knowledge and seminars to discuss relevant topics.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to provide you with an advanced applied understanding of methodologies and statistics used in clinical research approaches to develop and evaluate effective treatments and psychological interventions. This module equips you to become a critical consumer of applied psychological research and contribute to your development as a scientist practitioner.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 1. Reduce psychological distress and enhance and promote psychological wellbeing through the systematic application of knowledge derived from psychological theory and evidence
  • 2. Develop working alliances with clients, including individuals, carers and/or services, in order to carry out psychological interventions, evaluate their work and communicate effectively orally and in writing

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 3. Demonstrate clinical research skills with clients and systems based on a reflective scientist-practitioner model that incorporates intervention and evaluation and that draws from theory and therapy evidence bases as appropriate
  • 4. Evidence the skills, knowledge and values to conduct clinical research and reflect upon outcomes in a way that enables the profession to develop its knowledge base and to monitor and improve the effectiveness of its work

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to...

  • 5. Practise reflectively within a professional and ethical value base
  • 6. Communicate complex and contentious information clearly and effectively to specialists and non-specialists

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Methodological Approaches:

  • Introduction to applied clinical epidemiology, evidence synthesis including systematic reviews, meta-analysis, meta-synthesis
  • Focus groups, semi structured interviews, consensus techniques
  • Phase II feasibility study designs, randomised controlled trials
  • Single and multiple case designs, CONSORT and PRISMA guidelines to evaluate and report randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews
  • Health economics
  • Clinical research ethics

Statistical Approaches:

  • summarising data
  • Inferential statistics
  • Comparing continuous, dichotomous and survival data
  • Correlations and regression
  • Standardised mean differences
  • Odds ratios
  • Calculating sample size
  • Minimally important clinical differences
  • Standard effect sizes

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching42Class-based activities (didactic and skills-based teaching)
Guided independent study94Self-reflective learning, work-based study
Guided independent study164Recommended reading and study


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Research proposal poster presentation15 minutes1-6Peer written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Clinical research proposal (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)702000 words1-6Written
Research proposal poster (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)30A2 poster 1-6Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Clinical research proposal Clinical research proposal 1-6 Four weeks after feedback
Research proposal posterResearch proposal poster1-6 Four weeks after feedback

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake within four weeks from the date that feedback was provided.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

If you fail re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), you will be failed in the module and as a consequence you will be failed in the programme and your registration as a student of the University will be terminated.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Borenstein, M., Hedges, L.V., Higgins, J.P.T., Rothstein, H.R. (2009). Introduction to meta-analysis. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Kirkwood, B. and Sterne, J. (2003). Essential Medical Statistics. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Wang, D. and Bakhai, A. (2005). Clinical Trials: A Practical Guide to Design, Analysis, and Reporting. London: Remedica.
  • Bowling, A. (2009). Research Methods in Health: Investigating Health and Health Services. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (2009) Systematic Reviews: CRD's Guidance for Undertaking Reviews in HealthcareYork: CRD.
  • Peacock, J. and Peacock, P. (2010). Oxford Handbook of Medical Statistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Phillips, C.J. (2005). Health Economics: An Introduction for Health Professionals. Oxford: Blackwell. 

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Clinical, psychology, evidence-based, research

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date