This page is designed to support students studying both AS Sociology Unit 3 and AVCE Health and Social Care Unit 10
Resources include; online lessons, tests and revision activities
If you are preparing for next week's AQA Methods paper you may wish to check out our Interactive Past Paper Practice
Unit 10: Using and Understanding Research
This unit will develop your knowledge and understanding of research
methods and the research process.
Research awareness is increasingly important in the health and social care
field because of the emergence of evidence-based care practice. Research
now plays a key part in developing and improving health and social care
policies, service provision and care interventions. Carrying out a small
research project is a practical way of developing research awareness and
basic research skills.
Evidence presented for assessment will be appropriate to the setting, or
service user, chosen for the unit. This will be drawn from the following:
• early years (care and education)
• care of older people
• individuals with specific needs.
You must cover the content as specified in What you need to learn and you
will be assessed on your ability to select and apply this to the work-related
context you have chosen.
Recommended prior learning
Unit 3: Positive Care Environments
Unit 4: Social Aspects and Lifestyle Choices
132 UA015791 - Specification - Edexcel GCE in Health and Social Care - Issue 3 - May 2009 © Edexcel Limited 2009
What you need to learn
10.1 The aims and
use of research
in health and
You should understand the role that research plays in the health and social
care field. You should know how research investigations can be used to:
• investigate new care-related situations and problems
• test and review existing knowledge, treatments and practices
• explain the relationship between factors affecting health and wellbeing
• evaluate service interventions and policies.
You should know how research findings affect the work of health and social
care practitioners. You should understand how:
• epidemiological and census data is used in policy making and service
• experimental research findings are used in the development and
testing of medical and other treatment interventions
• survey and interview research findings are used to assess service users'
satisfaction with local and national health and social care services.
Researchers use a range of different research methods to investigate the
health and social care field. You should understand the role of:
• quantitative, qualitative, primary and secondary research
• questionnaires, interviews, experiments and observational methods of
• different sampling and case selection methods.
You should also demonstrate an understanding of:
• the strengths and weaknesses of research methodologies
• the importance of reliability, validity and ethics in research
You should understand why it is important to plan and follow a research
process when carrying out a research investigation. You should also know
that any research study involves either testing a hypothesis or investigating
a clear research question and evaluating findings against it.
10.3 Carrying out a
You will complete a research project on a topic related to health and
social care. You will need to know how to:
Plan the project
• identify a research topic and explain your reasons for choosing it
• define the research hypothesis or research question that you intend to
• carry out a review of background literature and information resources
relevant to your chosen topic and research question or hypothesis
• produce a research proposal outlining and justifying your intended
• create the data collection tools (questionnaires, interview schedules or
observation checklists) required for your research investigation
• produce a brief action plan for completing the research project.
Conduct the research
• obtain data from appropriate sources using your proposed methods
• record your findings in an appropriate manner
• analyse the data that you obtain.
Write a research report
• describe the aims of and methods used in your research project
• report the results, presenting the data in summary form
• explain and evaluate your findings, comparing them to the original
hypothesis or research question and relevant points from your
background literature review
• assess the strengths and possible limitations of your research