Module Aim

In this module you will develop the necessary skills to plan, develop, implement, and critique a research project with relevance to the occupational therapy profession’s knowledge and evidence base. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to plan for dissemination of your research to a wider audience via a manuscript for publication.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will be expected to be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding

  1. Conduct data collection and data analysis methods that result in valid or trustworthy findings that are meaningful to Occupational Therapy and/or Occupational Science

Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities

  1. Critically evaluate the relevance of published quantitative and qualitative studies, and/or systematic reviews to your own work.
  2. Write up your work following the guidelines for publication of a peer reviewed journal relevant to your work.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA)

  1. Reflect critically on your own learning and on the contribution of your work to knowledge in the field
  2. Value research participants as essential facilitators of and contributors to evidence.



In this module you will implement your own research project (supported by a project supervisor) based on the understanding of research and the research skills you have developed in the Research in Health and Social Care module in year 1. With support from your academic supervisor you will undertake your own research project; this may involve primary data collection, analysis of existing data, or a synthesis and appraisal of the literature on a specific topic.


You can choose from two options in this module:

  • an empirical project in which you will collect data (or possibly work with existing data) relevant to occupational therapy in order to generate new knowledge or to evaluate or develop an existing service
  • a systematic appraisal in which you will conduct a scaled down systematic review of evidence relevant to occupational therapy.


More specifically, depending on your choice of methodology you will develop:

  • Project management skills including time management skills
  • Knowledge and skills required for quantitative or qualitative data collection and/or systematic literature searching
  • Knowledge and skills required for qualitative or quantitative data analysis, and/or data synthesis

The summative assessment will consist of two parts:

  • Part A: A 4000-word write-up for publication of your MSc project intended for a specific peer reviewed journal in the field of health, rehabilitation and/or social care following the journal’s guidelines for authors. Part A will account for 40% of the weighting of the overall mark for the assessment.

Important: The guidelines for your chosen journal may specify an alternative word count. However, you are required to stick to the 4,000 (+10%) word limit specified in the handbook to ensure consistency across all student submissions.

  • Part B: An 8000-word reflection on the research process and your personal and professional development in the course of this process. Part B will account for 60% of the weighting of the overall mark for the assessment.

Part A Guidance – Manuscript

This section should be written according to the journal guidelines for authors for your chosen journal. Journals have slightly different requirements for structuring the layout and content and you are asked to adhere to these (please note above information on word limit). It is likely that this will include: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results/Findings, Discussion, Conclusion. However, these will vary.

Attach a copy of the journal guidelines for authors as an appendix to your work.

The word limits for individual assignments are clearly stated and are important in maintaining parity between students.  It is important to keep to the prescribed word limits for each part (excluding appendices, reference lists, graphs and tables).  A penalty will be applied for work that exceeds the upper word limit by 10% or over. The penalty for exceeding the stated word limit is a reduction by 10% of the total marks available for the assessment (i.e.100%). For clarity: a piece of work which would have scored 65% but that has a word count greater than 10% of the prescribed word limit will be allocated 55%; a piece of work which would have scored 45% but that has a word count greater than 10% of the prescribed word limit will be allocated 35%.


A penalty will not be incurred solely on the grounds of using fewer words than the lower limit.  Such work will be marked according to the extent to which the work meets the assessment learning outcomes.


For Part A of this assignment the word count will not include:

  • The abstract
  • Title & Contents page
  • Tables, figures, illustrations and footnotes
  • Reference list
  • Any supplementary data files
  • Appendices (i.e. journal guidelines for authors)

For Part B of this assignment the word count will not include:

  • Tables, figures, illustrations, footnotes and Gantt charts
  • Reference list
  • Appendices

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