HSC4011 - Advanced studies in contemporary and global health research - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Louise Francis

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • First semester 2017 (Day)


The unit aims for students to develop critical and analytic skills as applied to contemporary global public health and health science research literature. It will also provide students with advanced knowledge in specific areas of public health and health science relevant to their honours. Seminars will focus on topics such as current public health thinking and practice. Global and local dimensions of health, as well as on skills in evidence appraisal and systematic searching. Students will be active learners with the presentation of seminars to the class during the semester, and leading the discussion that follows. Students will provide a written review of a topic that is related to their specific research project that demonstrates advanced theoretical understanding of the issues and research relating to that topic.


On successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Discuss contemporary global approaches to research in health sciences and public health;
  2. Critically assess what is known and not known in the literature, about global public health science in relation to selected topics covered during the seminars as well as to students' research topics;
  3. Develop a systematic search strategy on a specific topic based on a research question, encompassing the development of inclusion-exclusion criteria, a search strategy and table summaries of selected studies;
  4. Critically review the scientific literature relative to a defined research question; and,
  5. Prepare a literature review of a health issue using critical analysis.


Hurdle: Students are required to attend 80% of tutorials/seminars.

Formative assessment: Feedback during seminar participation and presentations delivered.

Summative assessment:

  • A written critical analysis of the relationship between their Honours research topic and the Sustainable Development Goals to be assessed using a set of assessment criteria included in the Unit Guide (1,200 words) (15%)
  • An oral presentation of the findings of the background literature review undertaken to provide a rationale for your Honours research project to be assessed using a set of assessment criteria included in the Unit Guide (15%)
  • A written critical review of research papers on a specific public health and/or health science issue that will form the basis of the student's literature review for their final thesis (4,000 - 5,000 words) (70%)

Workload requirements

3 class contact hours per week (tutorial/seminar). Attendance at the weekly SPHPM HDR seminars (1.5 hours). In addition, as per University requirements, students will be required to spend 19.5 hours per week on the unit in private study (i.e. a total of 24 hours per week).

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in course 3971.