Types of research
The following should serve as a guide to the various research designs appropriate for the various degrees
- Quantitative: most designs accepted. Minor dissertations (MMed or MPhil) should consider a single, focused design. The MSc and PhD will be expected to contain several parts to the design. Students can register for the research methodology module through UCT. If you are a current UCT student, then it would simply involve adding the course code CHM6005F to your registration at the beginning of the year; if you are not a student at UCT, you would have to register as an occasional student using the same course code. A good refresher course is the Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics course which can be accessed on Coursera.
- Qualitative: A single data collection strategy- interviews or focus groups- are considered appropriate for any minor dissertation (MMed or MPhil). Only simple descriptive data analysis such as qualitative content or thematic analysis, should be used. Grounded theory and mixed methods designs are applicable for the MSc and PhD only. Any student wishing to partake in qualitative research must complete training in the qualitative method of data collection and analysis and must have a supervisor with experience. There are several university modules and programmes available. A free online course is available on Coursera.
- Review-type: With the exception of including literature reviews, other types of reviews will not be considered appropriate for the MMed. Systematized (not rapid) reviews are preferred for MPhil dissertations. Full systematic review and/ or meta-analysis is appropriate as part of the MSc or PhD.