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MPM5208 - Skills in critical appraisal of research

4 points, SCA Band 3, 0.083 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Professor T Trauer


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


The unit will include an introduction to statistical and qualitative methods of analysis. Research methods in the fields of epidemiology and interventions will be discussed. Longitudinal designs and meta analysis will be introduced.


  1. The course is designed to equip students with the skills necessary to evaluate empirical studies as published in the psychiatric literature. The course also aims to provide students with an introduction to the information necessary to design and initiate their own research.
  2. Students will gain statistical and methodological knowledge. It must be realised that given the time constraints much of the knowledge imparted will be at a basic or introductory level. However the course has been designed to cover a broad range of relevant topics. The course will also give students information about 'next steps' that is, approaches and sources of information that will allow them to bring their skills up to a mature level in specific areas when they have a need for this.
  3. The overarching attitude to be developed is one of 'constructive critical doubt'. This transcends the ability to be able to simply enumerate flaws and limitations in a piece of research. It is the aim of this course that students will develop an appreciation of the factors that are critical in either engendering confidence in the research or invalidating it.


Written evaluation of a published paper of the student's choice that presents an empirical research study.

Contact hours

3 hours attending lectures and 3 hours studying prepared course materials per week


MPM Year 1 units