EGA Institute for Women's Health


Understanding Research in Women's Health




Brief summary 

This module aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary to make sense of women’s health care research and innovations in practice as complex social and scientific processes rooted in evidenced based health care. It will equip students to carry out research across a range of women’s health settings.

UCL Credits


Module organisers 

  • Dr Anne Lanceley
  • Dr Jackie Nicholls


  • Overview and challenges of researching women’s health.
  • What is health research? What is innovation and why does it matter for women’s health?
  • How to formulate a research question and choose an appropriate study design to address different topics of relevance to women: mixed methods research; applied health research; qualitative designs; complex intervention research; participatory methodologies; trials and case-control studies; ways of using evaluating research for women’s health; critical appraisal.
  • Examining various perspectives on research: commissioner’s perspective; funding agencies; the patient’s point of view and the manager’s take.
  • Governance: legal and ethical issues and practical aspects of applying for NHS research ethics committee approval.

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered on a strongly interactive basis combining lectures, tutorials, e-learning and a range of peer and tutor-led research case-based discussions. Emphasis will be on connecting theory to practice across a diversity of women’s healthcare research challenges.


Research study protocol (3,000 words)

Selected reading list

Braun V, Clarke V. (2013) Successful qualitative research: a practical guide for beginners. Sage, London.

Cresswell, JW (2008) Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches, 3rd Edition. Sage London.

Gallin J, Ognibene F, Johnson LL. (2017) Principles and Practice of Clinical Research 4th Edition, Academic Press, London.

Greenhalgh T. (2014) How to read a paper – the basics of evidence-based medicine. 5th Edition. BMJ Books, Wiley Blackwell, Oxford.

Institute of Medicine. 2010. Women's health research: Progress, pitfalls, and promiseWashington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12908

Saini A. (2017) Inferior: How science got women wrong-and the new research that's rewriting the story, Beacon Press, London.