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Handbooks Courses Units

MFM2006 - Introduction to research methods

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Associate Professor Peter Schattner


Clayton Second semester 2008 (Off-campus)


This is a compulsory core unit for the Grad.Dip in Family Medicine and MFM(Clin) courses. Students are expected to explore the following areas; introduction to methodology, history of general practice, scope and nature of general practice research, study designs, qualitative versus quantitative research, the epidemiology basis of general practice research, descriptive, observational and experimental studies, getting started, including literature surveys, critical appraisal of journal articles, research protocols, descriptive and inferential statistics, data analysis, questionnaire construction and survey techniques and writing papers and giving presentations on research.
The unit is designed to take a logical path from framing a researchable question to developing a plan, implementing it, obtaining and then analysisng results, and finally writing the project up. Introductory concepts of statistical analysis will be included, but students will not be expected to have a detailed working knowledge of this difficulty subject area.


On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. understand the nature and scope of research in general practice;
  2. understand and be able to implement the methods used in answering questions that arise out of general practice;
  3. critically appraise the medical literature;
  4. develop an enthusiasm for doing your own research;
  5. gain some practical experience in doing research projects.


Students will be expected to complete 4 written assignments plus an MCQ

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