Critical Appraisal Skills for Professional Practice

Module summary

Module code: NURS1428
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Education, Health and Human Sci
Department: Health Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Mandy Stevenson / Anne Dalton-O'Connor



This course will provide the student with the opportunity to:

Apply the skills of critical enquiry in order to promote evidence based care within professional practice;
Further develop a critical understanding of pertinent literature in the promotion of effective practice encompassing ethical, professional and anti-discriminatory issues;
Critically review the literature in a defined aspect of professional practice and appraise the relevance of this literature.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:
1. Critically examine and reflect upon relevant contemporary evidence in relation to your professional practice.
2. Drawing on a thorough and systematic understanding of the concept of literature reviews and present the findings in a critical, coherent and structured manner.
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary professional, legal and ethical issues and their influence on Professional Practice.
4. Evaluate Professional Practice in the context of multi professional and client centred care in order to be able to make recommendations for change.

Indicative content

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the importance of Ethics, informed consent, confidentiality and privacy in research process;
Demonstrate a positive attitude towards evidence based practice.

Tools for critical appraisal;
Critical writing;
Managing supervision process;
Hierarchy of evidence;
Service user involvement.

Systematically searching and reviewing the literature;
Use of and response of feedback through supervision;
Organisation and management of a dissertation;
Study skills - use of library, accessing databases, effective use of information and communication technology to access information;
Presentation skills;
Critical appraisal skills.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will utilize a range of educational activities. These will include lectures, seminar groups as well as individual tutorial time to discuss ongoing work. There will be a mix of shared and discipline-specific focused / led sessions for the students' to participate in. This process will expose the students to the subject matter and allow them to explore and experience, the nature of the subject matter in a variety of theoretical perspectives and professional perspectives.
The VLE (Moodle) will be used as a platform for on-line activities, guided and independent reading to facilitate the development of evidence based knowledge.
Learning in Practice will involve the student in applying their knowledge and skills to care within their placement settings.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)

Contact Hours:
lectures 20
seminars 10
practical sessions 0
Tutorials (one to one supervision) 5
Other- web based activities 10
Private Study 150
Assignments: course work and other forms of assessment:
coursework 105
laboratory work


Literature Review - 100%
6000 words.
A critical review of the literature relating to an area of the students' professional practice.
Pass mark - 40%