OPT008: Study and Research Skills 1

This module aims to provide postgraduate students with the appreciation of their own learning style and will help explain the problems of distance learning and how to be effective in managing independent studies.

It also provides the background information to enable students to understand the principles of research methodology: the ability to recognise and validate problems encountered in optometry-related research. It includes ethical and statistical considerations in optometric research and develops the skills to critically evaluate scientific papers.

This module is compulsory for all students enrolled on the Masters in Clinical Optometry programme. It complements module OPT016.

Start dateDurationCreditsPrerequisitesModule tutorsModule code

September 2018

March 2019
20 contact hours over one academic term10 credits

There are no CET points available for this module
NoneTony Redmond (Leader)OPT008

Learning objectives

To acquire knowledge and understanding at an advanced level about:

  • Learning styles amongst adults
  • The principles of study design and protocol development
  • The ethical implications of research on human subjects.

To apply this knowledge and demonstrate awareness of:

  • Your own learning style and how it impacts on your study skills
  • How to apply for ethical approval from Cardiff University and the NHS
  • The extent of information resources available to your field
  • Statistical approaches to data analysis
  • Available statistical software packages to support you in your research.

To apply this knowledge and demonstrate how to:

  • Identify key research questions for a chosen topic and design an experiment to answer them
  • Perform critical evaluation of scientific papers and research
  • Search for appropriate information whilst maintaining a critical approach to the available literature
  • Choose the appropriate statistical test.

How the module will be delivered

This module is taught via a combination of lectures (PowerPoint with audio) and 'bitesize' presentations (podcasts), delivered via digital mediums and Learning Central, the University's e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied. There are also two sessions of online learning, based around the critical evaluation of two research papers.

How the module will be assessed

Online examination (40%): There is a MCQ test that will assess comprehension and application across the entire syllabus which students take at the end of the lecture series for final assessment.

Written coursework (30%): Students will be required to submit critical evaluations of two research papers (1000-1500 words each).

Written coursework (30%): Students will be required to submit critical evaluations of two research proposals (1000 -1500 words).

Syllabus content

  • How we learn
  • Learning styles
  • Independent study skills
  • How research in higher education institutions works
  • Searching for information and collecting references
  • Writing a research proposal
  • Study design and developing protocols
  • Ethical considerations for human and animal research
  • Critical review of published research
  • Statistical considerations for research.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic skills:

  • The identification of strengths and weaknesses and gaps in current knowledge
  • How to evaluate and interpret qualitative or quantitative data
  • The ability to write concisely and clearly for the academic community.

Subject-specific skills:

  • Designing clinical research projects
  • Understand how such research translates into evidence-based practice in optometry
  • A working knowledge of statistical approaches in research.

Generic skills:

  • Project and time management
  • Working independently
  • Develop IT skills
  • Refining analytical and problem-solving skills.


Postgraduate team

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences