RSCH08016 2019 Pharmaceutical Research Methods

General Details

Full Title
Pharmaceutical Research Methods
Transcript Title
Pharmaceutical Research Method
N/A %
Subject Area
RSCH - Research
LIFE - Life Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Yvonne Lang
Programme Membership
SG_SPHAR_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Science SG_SPHAR_K08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Pharmaceutical Science

The module aims to develop core skills to be able to carry out basic research methodologies.  These skills include the ability to describe and outline various principles of research and basic constructs in the research process, to plan a research project, to critically evaluate scientific information, to use bibliography software, and write a scientific report.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Describe the research process with specific reference to the pharmaceutical environment.


Differentiate and distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.


Summarise, integrate, compare and show evidence of critical analysis of scientific papers.


Write a research proposal for an undergraduate research project in pharmaceutical science.


Communicate research findings effectively to peers.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time. This will include lectures and workshops augmented by independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs. Moodle will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals).

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 100% continuous assessment.

Assessment will involve three assignments where students will be required to demonstrate knowledge of various research methodologies, demonstrate an ability to design a research project and  demonstrates an ability to critically evaluate material related to a topic in the field of pharmaceutical science. 

Repeat Assessments

Repeat continuous assessment and/or final examination.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Describe the research process with specific reference to the pharmaceutical environment.

  • Overview of research and research process with an introduction to core research principles e.g. bias, reliability, validity

Differentiate and distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

  • Overview of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.     

Summarise, integrate, compare and show evidence of critical analysis of scientific papers.

  • Overview of research databases, strategies to conduct searches of databases, critically evaluation of scientific information.

Write a research proposal for an undergraduate research project in pharmaceutical science.

  • Overview of scientific writing, experimental design and referencing.

Communicate research findings effectively to peers.

  • Overview of presenting scientific information to the scientific community.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Written assignment Continuous Assessment Assignment 30 % Week 4 1,2
2 Research presentation Continuous Assessment Assessment 20 % Week 8 3,5
3 Research proposal Project Assignment 50 % Week 12 3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 3 Weekly 3.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent learning 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2006 From Research to Manuscript Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN 1402040458 ISBN-13 9781402040450

Demonstrating how to compose a scientific paper, this book describes not just what to do but why and how, explaining why each section of a science paper requires its particular form of information, and showing how to fit data and arguments into that form. It recognizes that experiments in different disciplines need different presentations.

Recommended Reading
2016-02-22 Research Methodology Springer
ISBN 9783319271675 ISBN-13 3319271679

This book is an in-depth guide to effective scientific research. Ranging from the philosophical to the practical, it explains at the outset what science can and cant achieve, and discusses its relationship to mathematics and laws. The author then pays extensive attention to the scientific method, including experimental design, verification, uncertainty and statistics. A major aim of the book is to help young scientists reflect upon the deeper aims of their work and make the best use of their talents in contributing to progress. To this end, it also includes sections on planning research, on presenting ones findings in writing, as well as on ethics and the responsibilities of scientists.

Recommended Reading
2008-04-14 Writing Your Thesis SAGE
ISBN 9781412946896 ISBN-13 1412946891

This new edition is designed to help graduate and research students with the process, preparation, writing, and examination of their theses. Many students are able to design their program of research and to collect the data, but they can find it more difficult to transform their data into a thesis.

Recommended Reading
2012-01-20 Developing Research Proposals SAGE
ISBN 9781446258392 ISBN-13 1446258394

Writing a research proposal is one of the most important tasks facing academics, researchers and postgraduate students. Yet there is a good deal of misinformation and a great lack of guidance about what constitutes a good research proposal and what can be done to maximise one's chances of writing a successful research proposal. Denicolo and Becker recognise the importance of developing an effective research proposal for gaining either a place on a research degree programme or funding to support research projects and set out to explore the main factors that that proposal writers need to attend to in developing successful proposals of their own. Developing Research Proposals will help readers to understand the context within which their proposal will be read, what the reviewers are looking for and will be influenced by, while also supporting the development of relevant skills through advice and practical activities. This book: Explores the nature and purpose of different kinds of proposals Focuses on the actual research proposed Discusses how best to carry out and structure the literature review Examines the posing and phrasing of research questions and hypotheses Looks at how methods and methodology should be handled in a proposal Discusses the crucial issues of planning, strategy and timing in developing targeted proposals Denicolo and Becker draw together the key elements in the process of preparing and submitting a proposal and concludes with advice on responding to the results, successful or not, and their relevance to future proposals. The Success in Research series, from Cindy Becker and Pam Denicolo, provides short, authoritative and accessible guides on key areas of professional and research development. Avoiding jargon and cutting to the chase of what you really need to know, these practical and supportive books cover a range of areas from presenting research to achieving impact, and from publishing journal articles to developing proposals. They are essential reading for any student or researcher interested in developing their skills and broadening their professional and methodological knowledge in an academic context.

Recommended Reading
2018-01-01 Doing a Literature Review SAGE
ISBN 9781526423122 ISBN-13 152642312X

The ultimate guide to the what, how and why of literature reviewing, the second edition of the classic text shows how the literature review will unlock the full potential of one's research with: A thorough exploration of the literature review process from start to finish Two brand new chapters explaining the different types of review and evidence and evaluation Extended examples that show you how to apply key techniques and procedures A new core skills framework to help you turn your research experience into employability A critical thinking focus that will help you construct convincing arguments and improve your research decisions In combining a critical, philosophical approach with an expertly selected body of practical examples, the Second Edition of Chris Hart's landmark text provides both the intellectual understanding and the technical skills required to produce sophisticated, robust literature reviews of the very highest standard. SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

Recommended Reading
2007 Theories of scientific method
ISBN UOM:39015073641808

What is it to be scientific? Is there such a thing as scientificmethod? If so, how might a methodology be justified?Robert Nola and Howard Sankey seek to provide answersto these fundamental questions in their exploration of major recent theories of scientific method. Although for many scientists their understanding of method is something they just "pick up" in the course of being trained, Nola and Sankey argue that it is possible to be explicit about what this tacit understanding of method is, rather than leave it as some unfathomable mystery. They robustly defend the idea that there is such a thing as scientific method and consider how it might be justified.

Recommended Reading
2016-01-05 The Craft of Scientific Writing Springer
ISBN 1441982876 ISBN-13 9781441982872

The Craft of Scientific Writing is designed to help scientists and engineers- both professionals already active in the disciplines as well as students preparing to enter the professions- write about their work clearly and effectively. Written for use as a text in courses on scientific writing, the book includes many useful suggestions about approaching a wide variety of writing tasks from laboratory reports to grant proposals and from internal communications to press releases, as well as a concise guide to style and usage appropriate for scientific writing. The book will also be useful for self-study and it will be an important reference for all scientists and engineers who need to write about their work. With this new and updated edition, while most technical writing texts have gotten larger and larger over the years, this one is slimming down, to provide busy readers with the essence of what distinguishes the style of the best scientific documents. With this new edition, readers will learn not just how to organize information, but how to emphasize the key details of that information. Also, readers will not just learn how to cast their ideas into precise and clear sentences, but how to connect these sentences in an energetic fashion. In regard to the section on language, the new edition goes into more depth about how to make connections between ideas- an important issue that few technical writing texts address. Second, the new edition also explores more deeply about how to design illustrations so that they are more persuasive. Third, the new edition does a better job of explaining the purposes of different sections to a journal paper, such as literature review, methods, results, etc.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

As per booklist


Journal Resources

Journals identified by lecturer during course

URL Resources

As identified during coursework

Other Resources


Additional Information