• University of Leeds
  • NHS National Institute for Health Research logo

What is Health Research?

Explore the world of health research and the role volunteers play in transforming treatments and improving health care.

3,309 enrolled on this course

What is Health Research?
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours
  • 100% onlineTry this course for free
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $44Find out more

Learn about health research and explore opportunities to get involved.

Have you ever wondered how doctors and nurses know what treatment or care to give?

It’s only through health research that healthcare professionals find new and better ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating disease. Today’s research is tomorrow’s treatment.

On this course, you will learn how health research happens, why it matters and what to expect if you take part. You will also hear stories from people who have taken part in research; why they volunteered and the difference it made.

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  • Week 1

    What is the value of health research?

    • Welcome

      Welcome to What is Health Research? This course explains what happens in health research and the vital role volunteers play in transforming treatments and improving health care.

    • What is research?

      In this activity, you hear from people who have taken part in research and you investigate some common research myths.

    • Different types of research

      In this activity, you explore the types of questions research sets out to answer and the different ways that research takes place.

    • Why do people get involved in health research?

      In this activity, you explore some of the reasons people give for getting involved in health research. Patient Research Ambassador Keith also talks about how health research has changed lives.

    • Summary

      You reflect on what you have learned from the week and how this might help you make a decision about taking part.

  • Week 2

    How can you make an informed decision about taking part?

    • About Week 2

      In Week 2, research volunteers talk about what to expect and how you are kept safe. You think about how you should be treated and how volunteers find out the outcomes of health research studies.

    • What can you expect?

      In this activity, research team members explain how they provide support. You also find out about some of the practical issues to consider. Finally, a research nurse explains how she makes sure people understand what is involved.

    • How are people kept safe and informed during health research?

      In this activity, you find out how people are kept safe during research. Researchers explain how they keep data safe and treat participants with respect. Finally you learn what happens once the research is complete.

    • Summary

      In this activity, there is an opportunity to ask the course creators any questions you may have and discuss your views and experiences with other learners. There is a summary of the week and a glossary of terms.

  • Week 3

    Being part of research

    • About Week 3

      In Week 3, you learn how research has led to life-changing treatments and how healthcare continues to improve. Finally, you hear from people who work in different roles to champion health research.

    • Why health research is exciting

      In this activity, you learn about some of the life-changing treatments which would not have been developed without health research. You also hear from professionals who explain what is currently happening in research today.

    • How can you contribute?

      In this activity, you learn about the many ways you can take part such as reviewing information leaflets. You hear from volunteers who explain why they promote research. Finally, you complete the course with a short quiz.

    • Summary

      In this activity, you reflect on what you have learned this week. Helen and Keith provide their summary of the course. You also find out what further health research and learning opportunities are open to you.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Reflect on patient case studies to describe what is involved in health research
  • Apply learning to make informed decisions on how and why you could participate in health research
  • Identify the questions to ask before taking part in health research
  • Identify who to contact to get more information about health research

Who is the course for?

If you’re interested in taking part in health research or discovering how to get involved in supporting health research, this course will help to answer your questions before you make the decision.

Who will you learn with?

Head of Learning Development & Design for the Clinical Research Network (part of the National Institute of Health Research - NIHR) based in the UK.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

National Institute for Health Research

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded through the Department of Health and Social Care to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.

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