AC7104 - Critical Evaluation of Contemporary Practice

What will I learn on this module?

This module content will introduce Policy and Socio-economic drivers for service development and encourage you to consider how these may impact on contemporary practice and service delivery.

The core lectures will introduce the concept of undertaking practice evaluation and you will be encouraged to consider this in relation to a specific practice role or service. Seminars will encourage you to explore and enhance your awareness of workforce modelling and discuss professional boundaries. You will be directed to professional guidance relating to advanced practice and discuss these in relation to service delivery to meet the health and social care population.

The seminars, supervision and independent learning will encourage you to apply the key areas of learning within this module to your own professional context and field of expertise The sharing of understandings and experiences during the seminars will be an integral part of the way in which the module helps to socially construct individual’s perceptions of their role within the context of communities of practice.

You will learn about how you can make effective and systematic use of evidence based published research to inform your practice. You will be encouraged to apply this knowledge in relation to a contemporary aspect of practice. You will consider issues around quality and governance in relation to service delivery and explore the significance of commissioning and stakeholder engagement.

How will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn through a combination of interactive lectures, seminars, workshops and directed study. The module will be delivered at Northumbria University by lecturers who are specialists in this sphere of practice. As practitioners you will be expected to actively engage in the learning process, participate in group work and seminars and apply what is taught in the university to your practice setting.

A blended approach to teaching and learning will be embedded throughout this programme. This includes e-lectures and e-learning materials, seminars, simulation, workshops as well as action learning system, which runs throughout the modules of the programme. Within this module, the lectures and e-learning materials will introduce you to a range of theoretical information, which will prepare you for seminars, where you will learn with students from other professional pathways. As a student you will be encouraged to work with your academic supervisors and peers to engage in student led learning activity, focused on critical application and synthesis of knowledge to your specialist field of practice.

Both research and technology enhanced learning (TEL) are embedded throughout the programme, with e-learning materials available before lectures/seminars. Northumbria University reflects a research rich learning policy, as well as evidence-based learning being a key component of professional practice; therefore, all learning materials are underpinned with contemporary research evidence.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by a module team including an identified module leader with comprehensive knowledge and experience of Practice evaluation and service redesign. The Module leader will provide you with an overview of the module and offer tutorials to discuss content, issues and assessment feedback. Constructive feedback to feedforward is given on both formative and summative components. The module is supported by Blackboard Ultra and all modules adhere to the university’s minimum standards. The sites include module information, assessment information, online supported learning, Power-point presentations and e-lectures, reading lists and relevant web links. A discussion board is available to the cohort, through which students can post comments and ask questions of their peers while you are not on campus. As identified above, peer support is encouraged and facilitated via the learning system embedded within this programme. The University Libraries at both Coach Lane and City Campus offer an extensive collection of material, both hard copy and electronic, access to international databases and training in information retrieval. The Student Progress Service delivers a wide range of student support activities, which you will also be able to access. Other academic support systems in place are summarised below:

Study Skills

As part of the induction process you will be guided to additional support available through Skills Plus site, for areas including academic writing, referencing, critical review and writing, research techniques and methods, applied research, reflection and review. Further activities will be embedded throughout the module .

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

Apply knowledge and understanding of theory, policy and service provision to evaluate an aspect of health or social practice and utilise skills of analysis and synthesis to explore contradictions between forms of knowledge in relation to challenges to current practice or contradictions between practice and evidence.

Evaluate and critique a range of relevant research evidence to demonstrate underpinning theory and practice

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

Comprehend and critique relevant information and data and the impact of this on health and social practice

Develop and advance critical and reflective understanding of professional practice and propose a strategy for future service development which exhibits an understanding of the impact of new roles, models of service development

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

Demonstrate ethical probity and understanding of professional frameworks underpinning practice evaluation

6 Demonstrate personal leadership and management and insight into advanced practice and analyse the broader context of the clinical practice environment and the community of practice to which they belong in order to identify strategies to build capacity and develop self and others.

7. Exhibit self-direction and initiative to develop and advance critical and reflective understanding of professional practice

How will I be assessed?

The assessment strategy reflects both formative and summative components.

Formative assessment will be an on-going key feature of the programme, via student led discussions and e-learning. All assessments within the programme will be operated in accordance with standard operating procedures and marked and moderated in accordance with the Assessment Regulations for Taught Awards (ARTA) ensuring the academic standards for student awards are met. It is important that you familiarise yourself with the university assessment regulations. Related summative assessments are designed to promote and facilitate student-centred learning and will be clearly articulated within the relevant modules which make up this programme; assessment briefs and marking criteria will be available via Blackboard Ultra.

Summative Assessment

Students will submit a PowerPoint Presentation (1500 words) where they will critically evaluate practice or role within practice. This will be accompanied by a 1000-word critical reflective discussion,


Students will have evidence of previous level 6 study and achieved a degree award of 2:2 or above



Module abstract

This module enables students to undertake a critical evaluation of practice incorporating an exploration of emerging or advanced roles to meet demands of contemporary health and social care delivery. Consideration of the practice context is crucial and will critically explore current service provision in light of contemporary policy and practice drivers. Practice evaluation is a process that provides the information necessary to critically examine how well a service or role is being implemented and determine any gaps or opportunities for service development. Using a methodological approach to practice evaluation can identify opportunities for role development to effectively meet the needs of services and service users and optimise the use of (limited) resources to where they can have the most impact in addressing need whilst aligning this to commissioning priorities and quality care delivery. This will include exploration of workforce issues including role boundaries, integrated working, and advanced practice.

This module requires students to consider and critique differing forms of evidence on which their practice is based. Quality assurance and governance mechanisms will be explored, and students will be encouraged to recognise the centrality of these concepts to practice and evaluate how they can contribute to systems to measure and improve quality whilst optimising use of existing resources.

Reflection on personal, professional and practice development is an integral component of this module. Students will engage in discussion with clinical specialist staff, colleagues and peers to critically discuss and debate emerging concepts and ideas.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 3 years part-time

Department Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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