Clinical Research 1

The details
Health and Social Care (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 8
Friday 01 September 2023
Saturday 31 August 2024
07 September 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

CER C89F24 Applied Psychology,
DIP C89F24 Applied Psychology,
MSD C89F24 Applied Psychology,
DOCTC84036 Clinical Psychology (D Clin Psych)

Module description

This module aims to enable clinical psychology trainees to develop the knowledge, skills and values which will enable them to plan and conduct research relevant to clinical psychology in health, social care or community settings. This module runs throughout the 3 terms of the first year. In the course of the first year, trainees complete the Masters-level HS945, which provides a basic foundation for subsequent research competency development. This doctoral level module supplements trainee learning on HS945 and provides trainees with a more complex range of skills and competencies required for subsequent research in the course of the training programme for DClinPsych.

Module aims

The clinical research module aims to develop:

The knowledge and understanding of a range of research designs suitable for clinical research in health, social care and community settings.

The ability to formulate a research problem linked to clinical theory into a clear research question that can be addressed using an appropriate research design.

An awareness and understanding of the professional, ethical, organisational and legal frameworks for conducting clinical research.

The ability to construct a clear research proposal comprising a clear research question linking to psychological theory, an appropriate design, reliable data collection tools and consideration of ethical issues

Values and attitudes contributing to the critical and reflective application of research tools in clinical contexts with due consideration of issues relating to cultural diversity, other individual differences and social inequalities.

Skills in inter-professional collaboration and planning in engaging services and professionals to plan access to research populations.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, trainees will:

1. Be competent in conducting logical and systematic searches of the literature, identifying the most relevant literature using Boolean operators and limits and running searches across different databases, downloading citations and obtaining full texts where available.

2. Possess a detailed knowledge of paradigms and methodologies underpinning case series designs and how these differ/fit with standard experimental designs in health research

3. Be able to design and evaluate the quality of case series research studies

4. Be able to think critically and discuss the theoretical and epistemological foundations of case series design and related forms of research.

5. Be able to draw on existing research networks and support systems in order to progress a research idea

6. Have an advanced understanding of issues relating to the psychometric properties of measures and how they are tested statistically

7. Have a thorough understanding of the principles of validity and reliability in qualitative research and how these are ensured in the research process and tested afterwards

8. Have advanced skills, values, knowledge and understanding relating to ethical practice in research

9. Be familiar with the IRAS application process and how it relates to research governance approval

Module information

This module runs in Year 1 of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is aimed at providing trainees with additional skills and knowledge relevant for conducting research in the field of clinical psychology and to meet the requirements of the DClinPsych.

HS763 is a trainee led module, aimed at developing trainees' independent research skills. Each session focuses on the content areas (see below) as well as providing a research workshop in the second half of each teaching session, where general issues relating to trainees' research are discussed and
applications of teaching materials covered are considered.

Learning and teaching methods

The emphasis in the Clinical Research module is to supplement materials provided in HS945 in order to ensure that trainees develop a broad understanding of topics relevant to conducting research within clinical psychology using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Within HS763, teaching is trainee led: there are 1 to 2 compulsory readings for each session and trainees have been allocated to tasks for each session (see below) Trainee 1 presents reading 1 to the group, followed by discussion Trainee 2 presents reading 2 to the group, followed by discussion Trainee 3 provides a list of additional resources for fellow trainees to find out about the topic. Discussion of the reading will form half of the session. The second half of every session will be a research workshop (for the thesis/SRP) in which trainees can raise issues relating to the development of their thesis. The module is supported by the DClinPsychs MOODLE site, which has additional links to electronic resources


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Literature Review   16/01/2024  100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Susan McPherson, email: smcpher@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Susan McPherson
E: dcpadmin@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Magdalena Marczak
Coventry University
Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
Available via Moodle
Of 53 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
3 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
50 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

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