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Principles of Mental Health Research - HEA00139M

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Katie Pybus
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

Learn about cutting edge mental health research from leading experts in the field. Build your knowledge and understanding of how to carry out mental health research at every stage in the process, from developing your own research proposal through to study design and generating impact from your findings.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of current research in mental health, critically analysing the evidence base and identifying areas for future research. Each week, students will learn from academics engaged in cutting edge mental health research across a range of domains, for example, global and interdisciplinary mental health research. Students will gain the knowledge and attributes that will enable them to become competent mental health researchers through weekly interactive workshops focused on practical research skills development. Workshops will mimic key steps in the research management process, including study design, ethics and research governance, patient and public involvement, recruitment and retention, and designing a dissemination and impact strategy, each with a direct focus on mental health research. By the end of the module, students will have an in-depth understanding of the specific complexities and considerations associated with conducting mental health research and gain the foundational knowledge, skills and understanding to become competent mental health researchers across clinical and academic settings.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Understand, interpret and critically analyse current research in mental health.
  2. Synthesise existing evidence and generate new research questions, using strategies to manage uncertainty.
  3. Develop the skills to become a competent researcher in mental health, understanding key stages in the research process.
  4. Critically examine the research process with specific consideration of the complexities associated with research in mental health and addiction
  5. Critically analyse and engage with theoretical, conceptual and methodological debates in mental health research

Module content

Each week of the module, sessions will begin with a lecture on a different area of cutting edge mental health research, taught by researchers and clinicians who are undertaking current research in these areas. Example topics include global mental health, interdisciplinary mental health research and mental health inequalities. Each week, the lecture will be followed by an interactive workshop that focuses on a particular stage in the research process. At the beginning of the module, students will develop a research question and take this through the research process as the module progresses, with sessions focused on a specific component each week such as writing ethics applications, patient public involvement and co-production, and study design. At this point in the module, students will have the opportunity to present their research idea to a simulated research funding panel. The latter part of the module will focus on communicating research to a public audience, translating research into policy and practice, and developing a dissemination and impact strategy.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Presentation: Written individual feedback in the week following the presentation

Essay: Written feedback provided within the time limit specified by the University Policy on Assessment Feedback

Indicative reading

Blaikie, N., & Priest, J. (2019). Designing Social Research. Newark: Polity Press.

Creswell J. W. (2012) Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.