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LO1. Distinguish between different research methods, methodologies and study designs, and their value to public health.

Guidance for selecting papers for Research Methods Assessment
Part 1

  • Number of papers: 3
  • Types of papers:

o One RCT, One cohort, One Qualitative for critical appraisal

o The RCT should focus on effectiveness of an intervention on the chosen public health issue and specific population group. o Cohort- it should be based on public health issue and the specific population group.

o Qualitative study- it should be based on public health issue and the specific population group. (You get brownie point if it discusses similar intervention as RCT).

o No systematic reviews, study protocols, editorials, opinions, reviews, perspectives, policy documents etc. However, these can be used for referencing in the background or discussion sections.

o You will get one chance to get your papers approved. o Your papers should be within 2011-2021

  • Searching for papers: It is your responsibility to search for your papers and get approval.
  • Saving papers: Please save your papers with the title of the papers as pdf files in safe place. It is better to save them in more than one place so that your can retrieve them without losing.
  • Uploading papers: You must upload your papers on one drive for review by 30th March 2022
  • Final papers: You must upload your final papers on one drive by 30th May 2022.

Part 2.

Summative Assessment: (Essay)

Assignment brief: Write a 3,000 word essay that describes your literature search strategy, research question and critically review/appraise three (3) peer-reviewed and published scientific journal articles on your chosen public health research topic that use at least three different epidemiological study designs -one experimental/randomised trial, one cohort and one qualitative paper.

Weighting: 100%
Submission Date and Time: 11.05.2022, 23:45 on Turnitin
Submission of Three final articles and relevant CASP sheets, and search strategy workbook on One drive, 10.05.2022; 23:45

Core text: This is only for guidance. The bullet points are provided as different pointers to consider whilst developing your essay. You can order bullet points/sections and add more in the way of your understanding and for clarity of your writing on your chosen topic.

Learning Outcomes: Please ensure that you meet all the learning outcomes in your summative assessment

  1. LO1.  Distinguish between different research methods, methodologies and study designs, and their value to public health.
  2. LO2.  Devise a suitable literature review question and search strategy, and identify relevant research studies.
  3. LO3.  Critically appraise research studies and recognise their implications for public health policy and practice.


Your notes

Introduction- approx 100 words

  • Write what the assignment is about
  • Summarise what your chosen public health topic is.

Background and rationale (sources and evidence must be cited)- approx. 500 words

• Summarise the importance of your chosen topic in the context of Public Health- for example obesity, cancer, smoking


• Briefly describe the rationale for choosing the topic- epidemiological data, risk and protective factors, relevant existing interventions and policies


Methodology (sources and evidence must be cited)- approx. 900 words

  • What is literature review and its types.
  • What is critical appraisal and its purposes.
  • What tools are used in critical appraisal (generalisability, validity, reliability etc)
  • Explain different types of study designs and its strengths and weaknesses
  • Your chosen library data base(s)
  • Discuss the framework used to formulate the research question (PICO).
  • Describe the key words used in your search for all the studies
  • Describe the use of Boolean operators and Truncation
  • Discuss the inclusion/exclusion criteria in detail (did you limit the search to any number of years? What

about language, geography, gender, age, disease, type of intervention?)

  • Number of articles as a result of your search, number of abstracts read, number of articles chosen to

include and appraise.

  • What are the ethical principles in research and how they are used in research.

Critical Appraisal (sources and evidence must be cited)- approx. 900 words

  • Describe the three articles briefly . Do this one article at a time (each article should be one clear section, about 300 words of description per article).
  • Appraise the study design, population, analysis and results using specific CASP sheet for each study type.
  • How did you identify and apply critical appraisal tools in your articles- generalisability, validity and


  • What are the strengths and limitations of the studies?
  • Any ethical issues in the papers highlighted, and how research ethics principles were applied.

Implications for public health policy- (sources and evidence must be cited)- approx. 400 words TIPS: 1. https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/policy-briefs/

2. https://epoc.cochrane.org/sites/epoc.cochrane.org/files/public/uploads/SURE-Guides- v2.1/Collectedfiles/source/01_getting_started/policy_brief.html#box_1:_examples_of_who_policy_briefs

  • Discuss the relevant policy and its pros and cons on your chosen research topic
  • Explain how the three studies you appraised contribute to towards the policy in terms of providing evidence

in favour or against the policy


Conclusion and recommendation (sources and evidence must be cited)- approx 200 words

  • Describe any key emerging recommendations from the three articles that you have found for future

research and policy development.

  • Highlight the main points discussed in the main text.


No word limit. Use Harvard Referencing.



• Search strategy flow diagram


Tips for writing Format and style

  1. You should write in active voice.
  2. Avoid informal words, colloquial language in writing.
  3. Avoid contractions (Can’t/don’t is wrong, use can not, do not).
  4. Explain your abbreviations first before using them. For example- World Health Organisation (WHO)
  1. Use British English.
  2. Do not write in first person. (I think, I read, I believe etc.)
  3. Please be careful with your spellings and punctuation marks. Poor grammar is poor writing and results in poor understanding and misleading.
  4. The writing should be formal and should create a flow through linking sentences clearly.
  5. Use clear and concise academic language in writing.
  6. No anecdotal stories.
  7. Try not to be too descriptive. You need to do a ‘critical analysis’.
  8. Make sure the format of your essay is Arial font, 12, The margins for each page are 2.54 cm (the default in MS Word) and the line spacing is double, and justified (right and left side of paragraphs is straight, like in a book or published report).


  1. You MUST use Harvard Referencing system in your assignment
  2. This should be for both in the body of the essay (citation) and references. Please signpost your references clearly and accurately in

the body of the essay.

  1. Use only academic peer-reviewed published articles, academic books, government websites or reliable international data sets

from UN or other international agencies.

  1. Avoid grey literature, non-academic articles. For example- google, blogs, newspapers, online opinions, non-validated data etc.

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