MSc Research in Health Practice
Qualifications and durations
This is a distance-learning programme.
- Part-time MSc (3-5 years)
This programme can also form part of the Professional Doctorate in Health.
Research in Health Practice is a modular postgraduate programme which has been designed to meet the professional needs of a range of health and social care practitioners who are interested in developing their skills as researchers in practice.
This flexible programme enables you to build knowledge and skills in designing and conducting programmes of research. Most appealing is the online aspect, meaning that you can remain within the practice area whilst gaining an all-important Masters level qualification (helping you progress to specialist practitioner or consultant level within the NHS).
The programme provides an innovative and integrated blend of knowledge-based, activity-based and experiential learning, underpinned by self-reflection and peer review. A virtual learning environment will form the focus for organising the learning, providing a platform for discussion and sharing of ideas.
By utilising web-based delivery blended with Summer Schools (typically five days in length), the programme aims to meet the learning needs of busy health and social care practitioners. Learning is supported throughout the programme by a Personal Development Adviser (PDA) who will utilise learning needs analysis and personal development planning techniques to provide motivation.
This is a flexible programme. Our students typically study over three years, however there is opportunity to complete units in up to five years.
Year one (Certificate)
- Introduction to practice-based research
- Research design and methods
- Evidence into practice
- Research in practice: preparation and planning
Year two (Diploma)
- Research in practice: design and development
- Professional, organisational and quality issues in practice
- Health Policy in an international context
- Optional Units
Year three (MSc)
Learning and teaching
Our programmes are modular, consisting of self-contained units, taught and assessed on a semester basis. As you progress through each semester and successfully pass the examinations, you will receive credit for the units, thus providing you with a clear indication of your academic progress.
The majority of the content of the programme is delivered online to allow you to engage in flexible study, alongside your clinical practice. To complement the online resources, there are face-to-face teaching events at various stages of the programme.
Methods of assessment
Assessment consists of a combination of written assignments, literature reviews, research protocols and reflective accounts.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied, but not completed or received an award, for postgraduate units from another institution, you may be eligible to transfer credit for this prior learning.
Depending on the programme of study, you can gain APL for up to 50% of the total credits required (this credit must have been obtained within the previous five years).
- First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject, from a recognised university, or
- two years post-qualification, graduation or registration experience in an appropriate context (normally health, social care, education or clinical/medical context)
Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the programme of study.
- IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each of the four components)
- PTE Academic of 62 with no less than 59 in any component
If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the Academic Skills Centre.
- One reference is required, either an academic reference or a practice based/employer reference.
How to apply
You can must apply to study through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.
We suggest you apply before the following dates if you wish to study this programme:
- 28 June 2016 for International Students (who need to apply for a UK Visa).
- 31 July 2016 for Home/EU students.
Admissions Officer: Michael Wilson
Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6180
Main areas of research
The Department carries out research and teaching in health, medicine, exercise and sport, making significant contributions to national and international health agendas.
The Department aims to produce high-quality research with a strongly applied focus. We aim to contribute to promoting the health of the population and to improving the quality and efficiency of the health services that people rely on and pursue this agenda with a variety of partners at local, regional, national and international levels. Our work is organised around the two main themes of population health and healthcare. We are also pleased to offer a range of Research degrees.
Historically, health policy has focused almost exclusively on sickness services provided by agencies such as the National Health Service. Although this focus on healthcare remains hugely important, it is increasingly complemented by aspirations to improve the health of the population by tackling the social determinants of health such as poverty and pollution and by encouraging people to adopt health promoting behaviours such as healthy diets and increased physical activity and to stop health damaging ones such as smoking. There is also growing national and international concern that improvements in health should be fairly distributed by reducing health inequalities. The Department for Health organises its work related to population health improvement in three main ways. Much the largest element in the population health portfolio is related to sport, health and exercise science, but the School attaches growing importance to tobacco control and health inequalities.
The Department’s expertise in Healthcare focuses on innovation in the design, delivery, organization, and evaluation of healthcare interventions. We have a particular emphasis on disabling and distressing, long term or life-limiting conditions, such as chronic pain, stroke, dementia, rheumatic disease, and severe mental health problems. Current research activity involves collaborations with NHS colleagues in Bath at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases – RNHRD, the Royal United Hospital, the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Care Trust, the Pan Bath & Swindon Primary Care Research Consortium and RehabNET.
Faculties in the Department have significant research expertise and experience in a range of topics including:
- Addictions and addictive behaviour
- Alcohol, drugs and the family
- Assistive technology and rehabilitation
- Child and adolescent cognitive behavioural therapy
- Complex Regional Pain Syndromes
- Dementia care
- Evidence based pain management
- Leadership and change
- Mental health service development and evaluation
- Spondolarthropathy disease and related disability
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Work, health and wellbeing.
The School for Health was established within the University of Bath in 2003, to centralise the high profile research and teaching in the health-related disciplines already taking place throughout the university, so creating a single entity through which links with the health sector at national and international level can be channelled, co-ordinated and developed.
In 2010 the School joined the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and became the Department for Health, providing excellent opportunities for academic teaching and research collaborations with other departments, such as Psychology and Social & Policy Sciences. The Department's postgraduate teaching and research programmes now form part of the Faculty's new Graduate School, also launched in 2010, providing postgraduate students with dedicated support and a strong community in which to base their studies - whether on campus or by distance learning.
In keeping with government initiatives surrounding population health and more general public concerns, the Department divides its activities between two main pillars: Healthcare and Population Health – one focuses on the NHS, healthcare and health services research and the other focuses on population health, healthy living, sport & physical activity and tobacco control; each of these groups, in turn, contain both teaching programmes and research activities. Furthermore, there is a bridging spine between both pillars and which houses the Professional Doctorate in Health, Research in Health Practice and the administrative, finance, learning & teaching development, marketing and support activities of the Department.
The Department’s aims are:
- To develop a research portfolio that is both of the highest academic standard and has applications in the real world
- To build on external links with the public services and other bodies concerned with health and society
- To innovate design and delivery of healthcare services
- To change corporate approaches to healthy organisations
- To support government reform of health and social care provision
- To identify and facilitate opportunities for academic collaboration and new developments.
The Department's postgraduate taught programmes combine academic excellence with flexible and innovative design and delivery; our postgraduate portfolio is distinguished by the provision of a number of Professional Masters and a Professional Doctorate programme designed to be studied part-time by learners working in a wide range of healthcare roles from all around the world. All our postgraduate courses are taught online and this has proved to be one of our unique selling points, with students able to continue within their practice area or working environment whilst gaining a further qualification.
The Department is renowned for its exemplary attention to educational design, integrating knowledge with research evidence and resulting in programmes which are highly relevant to contemporary practice; in addition, the Department boasts some of the most innovative and successful approaches to online and part-time education, recognised through a number of awards.
At all levels, learning and teaching in the Department provides a strong focus on high quality education for real world situations and produces graduates with skills and knowledge relevant to professional roles and in high demand from employers.
Teaching programmes on offer within the Department include:
- Sport & Exercise Medicine, the world renowned flexible masters programme exclusively for doctors
- Sports Physiotherapy, a specialist programme designed by physiotherapists for physiotherapists
- Research in Health Practice, a programme launched in 2008 aimed at health and social care professionals interested in conducting their own research
- The innovative Professional Doctorate in Health which focuses on both Population Health and Healthcare within the Department, providing a doctoral level programme to develop expert practitioners and researchers in practice.
Facilities, equipment, other resources
Sport and exercise science and medical science laboratories. Close links with the English Institute of Sport and the Department of Sports Development and Recreation.
International and industrial links
There are current links with primary care trusts, strategic health authorities, the two hospitals in Bath and colleagues in industry. The Department works closely with esteemed international academic institutions, and individual health practitioners, in order to meet the regional, national and global challenges facing health and social care.
Postgraduate research students gain a wealth of experience to assist them with their next step and are offered personal career advice at the University. The Department has an established research training skills programme for all research students. The taught programmes enable students to extend their health and social care career pathways and to build important networks for further professional opportunities.