Explain the role of practice-based research in the context of counselling and psychotherapy

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Practice Based Reflection & Research 

Assessment Information/Brief

NOTE: Kindly share your UPDATED exam paper to the LIVE EXPERT with an updated Case Study (if any)

To be used for all types of assessment and provided to students at the start of the module.
Information provided should be compatible with the detail contained in the approved module specification although may contain more information for clarity.

Module title

Practice Based Reflection & Research





Assessment title

Research Proposal

Weighting within module

This assessment is worth 100% of the overall module mark.

Submission deadline date and time


How to submit
You should submit your assessment via Turnitin, on the Blackboard site for the module.  Use the ‘Assessment’ tab, and submit via the Practice-based Research Proposal folder (make sure you submit your final version to the FINAL folder).

Assessment task details and instructions
For this assignment you are required to develop a research proposal for a practice-based research project.  Your proposal will include a clear research question for your proposed research to answer.
Your proposal should outline the issue to be researched, explaining its significance in terms of the counselling field and for you as a counsellor.  You should briefly review previous studies of this issue, and give a rationale for your own proposed focus (how it will add to existing research).
You will explain and justify your research methodology, which may be one of case study research, small scale qualitative research, or mixed methods research.
You will detail  your approach to participant recruitment, data collection, and data analysis, consistent with your overall methodology.  You will identify relevant ethical issues and how these will be addressed, and give a brief outline of your plans for disseminating your findings.

Your proposal should be supported with reference relevant reading.  This will include both (for your literature review) previous research relevant to your specific topic; and (for the methodology and related sections) general literature on research methods as referred to in the Module Reading List.
The proposal should be written in report form, with subheadings to identify different sections (see suggested structure below).
Please remember, where appropriate, to protect the confidentiality and anonymity of any people mentioned in your assignments. 

Assessed intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this assessment, you will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

  1. Explain the role of practice-based research in the context of counselling and psychotherapy
  2. Apply reflective practice skills in personal and professional contexts
  3. Demonstrate literature searching, analytical and evaluative skills in developing and writing a project proposal
  4. Evaluate the influence of professional discipline, culture and nationality in the context of specific research agendas

Transferable/Key Skills and other attributes

  • Take part in discussions; obtain and summarise written information and produce written materials

Information Technology (IT):

  • Identify and locate key resources and use search skills to retrieve relevant information and recognise how to avoid plagiarism through correct referencing

Working with others:

  • Plan group-work, agree objectives, confirm working arrangements, establish and maintain co-operative working relationships and review and agree improvements for future work


  • Develop self-inquiry and reflection skills
  • Develop report writing skills
  • Develop critical analysis and evaluation skills

Module Aims

  1. To further develop an understanding of research in the context of counselling and psychotherapy and to apply this understanding to practice based research
  2. To develop critical reflective practice skills
  3. To understand the principles of researching and writing a project proposal

Word count/ duration (if applicable)
Your research proposal should be 2500 words long.     (Please note that this is the maximum number of words.  This word count does not include your reference list, and any appendices that you may choose to include)

Suggested structure for the assignment: 



Approximate word count


Background/Literature review



Research question, aims & objectives






Participant recruitment



Data Collection



Data Analysis



Ethical Issues





(Please note that this is just a guide and your individual case study research proposals may require you to weight the sections differently.  However you will need to ensure you address all relevant aspects.)

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