Research project in health and social care
|Programme title||CPK36 Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND Health and Social Care|
|Unit number and title||Unit 6||Research Project|
|Assignment number & title||1 of 1||
Research Project in the Health and Social Care Setting
|Issue Date||September 29, 2016|
|Final assignment submission deadline||
09 – 14 January 2017
Late submission deadline
|16 – 21 January 2017
The learners are required to follow the strict deadline set by the College for submissions of assignments in accordance with the BTEC level 4 – 7 submission guidelines and College policy on submissions. They should also refer to Merit and Distinction criteria that require evidence of meeting agreed timelines and ability to plan and organise time effectively without which the learner may not expect to receive a higher grade.
|In class feedback will be available from draft submissions on a task-by- task basis as a formative feedback and also for initial submission.
Final feedback will be available within 2 -3 weeks of the assignment submission date.
ICON College of Technology and Management Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND in Health and Social Care (HSC)
Unit 6: Research Project (L5) Session: September 2016
Course Work (Recommended Word limit 6,500)
This Unit will be assessed by an assignment and an individual presentation.
You are strongly advised to read “Preparation guidelines of the Coursework Document”
before answering your assignment.
Introduction and background notes (vocational context)
As a final year student of Health and Social Care, you will need to conduct a research project that is relevant to the health and social care setting. See examples of research topics: (1) Mental health and employment; (2) Exploring the effects of the economic slowdown on adult social care; (3) Care provision within families and its socio-econom ic im pact on car e provider s’ . As a researcher, you might be interested in conducting an exploratory study in which you only focus on familiarizing yourself with a subject that very little is known about. Or your focus might be to just describe the subject through scientific investigation. Also, the focus might be towards a more analytical research in which you will engage in answering the questions of “what, why, where, when and how”. Whichever approach you take, you will need to address all the questions in this assignment which have been divided into LO’s 1, 2, 3 & 4. The Unit addresses elements that make up formal research including the research proposal, literature review, a variety of research methodologies, action planning, ethical consideration, carrying out the research itself and presenting the findings.
What you must do
Task 1: LO1 Understand how to formulate a research specification
Task 1A: (Research Proposal) – Based upon a specific health and social care issue identified in health and social care setting, write a Research Proposal, outlining the specific objectives (and or hypotheses) that need to be addressed in relation to the research question. You should also identify the factors that contribute to the process of research project selection [P1.1, P1.2, P1.3, P1.4, P1.5]
In this Research Proposal, you must justify why you think it is important to study the topic you have chosen and whether such is researchable based on the approach taking. The proposal outline should cover the following:
Research Project description (brief overview of nature of project [P1.1, P1.2]
Research Aims and Objectives [P1.1, M1]
Literature review (critical review of key references) [P1.1, 1.3]
Research methodology [P1.1, 1.4] References
An appropriate plan and procedures for the agreed research specification [P1.1, P1.5]
The format of the research proposal is shown in Appendix 1
Guidelines for Research Proposal
The research title should be clear and concise and be set as a statement. A good research title should have two variables, independent and dependent. For example, Air pollution and the effect on the cardiovascular system. The learner should also ensure that there is enough literature available for the topic. At this stage of your research, learners should choose simple topics with two variables as explained above.
The research project description should provide the rationale of doing the project, including the definition of key concepts and theories, background to the research problem.
The aim of the research answers “What do you want to do?” and objectives answer the question “How are you going to find out?” what you stated in the aim. It is advisable to have only one aim but more than one objective. Objectives address the aim, so if you have two aims, each aim should have its own objectives.
The literature review should be based on the research problem. Literature review means finding out what others have said about your research problem, so you need to look for those who support your view and those who refute your views. This is what is meant by critical review of literature. You must review at least 10 different articles. Please note that explaining concepts and theories is not considered a literature review, as this should have been done in your research project description.
Within the Research methodology, you should briefly explain qualitative and qualitative methods and their techniques, sampling techniques, how the data would be collected and analysed [P2.2]. Remember to justify your use of a particular method and technique. As a researcher you need to be aware of research ethics (Please submit the research ethics form as shown in Appendix II).
Your research plan should include the research process activities and task dates, for example you must submit this in the form of a GANNT Chart.
To achieve M1 complex problems with more than one variable have been explored in formulating a research proposal and specifying the objectives.
If the proposal is approved, you will then need to develop a dissertation consisting of five chapters – 1) Introduction 2) Literature review 3) Methodology 4) Data analysis and 5) Conclusion
LO1, Task 1A: LO1 Understand how to formulate a research specification
(Chapter 1) this will be the Introduction chapter for the whole assignment where you will state clearly the rationale for the research, that is, what the research is about. You will also provide clear statements of research aims and objectives. Consider answering these questions – what make this research important? What do previous research on the topic say? How would this research add to knowledge? What do you intend to find out? [P1.1, P1.2]
LO 1, Tas 1B: LO1 Understand how to formulate a research specification
(Chapter 2) Identify Relevant Literature related to your chosen topic and undertake a critical review of key references, including appropriate theories and concepts. [P1.3, M2, D1]
This is the chapter in which you will review literature to know what other researcher have discovered on issues related to your topic. Your literature review should be rigorous and detailed as you consider various arguments, theories, methodologies, and findings expressed in the literature. You must keep the focus on literature that are relevant to your research topic. Note: You should cite and reference all supporting arguments with sources using Harvard System of Referencing.
To achieve M2 a range of methods and techniques have been applied in reviewing current relevant literature and appropriate theories and concepts have been used.
To achieve D1, the validity of results has been evaluated using defined criteria when undertaking a critical review of the literature
LO 1, Task 1C: LO1 Understand how to formulate a research specification
- Produce a clear research project specification [P1.4]
- Provide an appropriate plan and procedures, including a time schedule for carrying out the agreed research (GANNT Chart can be used if necessary – see Appendix III) specification. [P1.5]
Note: You need to consider the relevant sources of data i.e. primary and secondary, and outline and justify the proposed methods using appropriate sampling methods to collect data within the context of validity and reliability.
Task 2: LO2 Be able to implement the research project within agreed procedures and to specification
Based on the methodology you described in your research proposal (Task 1), carry out the investigation, and match the resources efficiently in your research question [P2.1]. Undertake the proposed research investigation in accordance with the agreed specification and procedures [P2.2]. Record and collate the data based on the research question [P2.3]. Use appropriate research techniques to analyse your data.
Research methodology can be broadly divided into quantitative and qualitative approaches. There are various methods for conducting research. If you want to understand the general pattern of a certain health issue in the population e.g. the salt consumption pattern in UK, i.e. whether British people consume more salt in their diet compared to say Nigerians, Romanians, Bangladeshis, or/and other ethnic groups. Such a study can be regarded as an ecological study.
However, if your aim is to understand an association or lack of association between a risk factor (e.g. smoking), and a disease (e.g. lung cancer), or an association or lack of it between an intervention (e.g. exercise), and outcome (e.g. loss of weight), then you could do this in three ways;
1) you can either conduct a cross-sectional study, or 2) a cohort study or 3) a case-control study. In this case, a cross-sectional study is when you use some data which was generated not for research purposes e.g. all records of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, then you are conducting a cross-sectional study. A cohort, on the other hand is when you want to follow-up a group of people e.g. all babies born in year 2000 and observe the association between occurrence of infection among them e.g. mumps and risk of developing childhood cancer e.g. leukaemia. A case-control study is when you compare the frequency of a risk factor (e.g. drinking alcohol) among those who have a particular disease (e.g. liver cirrhosis) – hence cases vs those who do not have the disease (hence controls). Such studies as indicated above, can also be used to understand effectiveness of treatments or public health interventions. Sometimes, one does not need to conduct a primary study to investigate associations between risk factors and disease or interventions and outcome. One might instead try to understand this from published studies (secondary data) on the subject of interest. In this case, you would be conducting a review.
However, it is not always that our research interest is to understand distribution of risk factors for disease or to explore associations, sometimes we want to understand why something is happening. For example, if we are giving patients some treatment in tablet form or applying as an ointment on the skin etc. We might want to understand why some patients are complying with the treatment, while others are throwing the pills under the pillow and not taking the treatment as prescribed. In this case, a study which aims to understand in-depth reasons behind this behaviours and the meanings people attached to it can be called a qualitative study. On the other hand a quantitative approach can be applied if you wish to carry out statistical analysis of the opinions of service users at a care home on whether they are satisfied with the care provided. You can ask them to express their relative agreement with statements and answer on a five-point scale, e.g. 1 is strongly disagree, 2 is disagree, 3 is neutral, 4 is agree and 5 is strongly agree.
Task 3: LO3 Be able to evaluate the research outcomes
Interpret and analyse the results of the data analysis from Task 2 in terms of the original research proposal (research objectives and/or hypotheses, if any) and make recommendations to solve the research problem identified in task 1. You should also justify areas for further consideration.
[P 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, M3, D3]
To achieve M3, you will need to use the appropriate structure and statistical techniques to analyse your data.
To achieve D3, Ideas have been generated and decisions taken when evaluating the research outcomes.
Task 4: Be able to evaluate the research outcomes
Use an agreed format and appropriate media to present the outcomes of the research to an audience [P4.1, D2]
To achieve D2, Substantial activities, projects or investigations have been planned, managed and organised when presenting your research project including your results during your presentation in a timely manner
Your completed project should now be presented to your health and social care academic supervisor in a report format. Your research project outline should include the following:
Research Title Abstract Acknowledgements Content page
Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Research project description (brief overview of nature of project) [P1.1, P1.2]
1.2 Research Aims and Objectives [P1.1]
1.3 Literature review (critical review of key references) [P1.1, 1.3]
1.4 Research methodology [P1.1, 1.4]
Chapter 2: Literature review [P1.3]
2.2 Literature review
Chapter 3: Methodology
3.1 Methodology, Methods and Techniques [P2.2]
3.2 Sampling [P2.2]
3.3 Data collection (Description of how data would be collected [P2.2]
3.4 Ethical considerations
Chapter 4 Data Collection and Analysis
4.1 Data Collection [P2.3]
4.2 Data Analysis and Discussion [P3.2]
Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations
5.1 Conclusions [P3.3]
5.2 Recommendations [P3.3]
5.3 Areas for further study (or consideration) [P3.3]
- Outcome of the Unit
|On successful completion of
this unit a learner will:
|Assessment criteria for pass:
To achieve each outcome a learner must demonstrate
|LO1 Understand how to
formulate a research specification
|1.1 formulate and record possible research project outline specifications
1.2 identify the factors that contribute to the process of
research project selection
1.3 undertake a critical review of key references
1.4 produce a research project specification
1.5 provide an appropriate plan and procedures for the agreed research specification
|LO2 Be able to implement the
research project within agreed procedures and to specifications
|2.1Match resources efficiently to the research question or hypothesis.
2.2 Undertake the proposed research investigation in accordance with the agreed specification and procedures
2.3Record and collate relevant data where appropriate
|LO3 Be able to evaluate the
|3.1 Use appropriate research evaluation techniques
3.2 Interpret and analyze the results in terms of the original research specification
3.3 Make recommendations and justify areas for further
|LO4 Be able to present the
|4.1Use an agreed format and appropriate media to
present the outcomes of the research to an audience
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