MFM5008 - Applied research in general practice - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - 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

Department of General Practice



Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Online)
  • Second semester 2017 (Online)


This unit is a core unit for the MFM (research stream) and is designed to assist students in the development of their research project. It covers such issues as starting a project, measurement, project management, applying to an institutional ethics committee for approval to conduct a research project, funding a research project, statistical planning, data analysis, collaborative research, and research in general practice.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Develop a research question and critically analyse it for importance, feasibility and focus. Select a series of articles of relevance to their topic of interest and critically appraise them for scientific validity.
  2. Select a study design which is appropriate to their research topic of interest and demonstrates valid and reliable methods.
  3. Develop a written research protocol which outlines the major steps in a research study, from asking a research question, to describing the methods, and showing how the data will be collected and analysed.
  4. Develop a grant application which describes the cost of a study, justifies the various cost items, and provides an outline of a study that will enable a funding body to judge the merit of the application.
  5. Develop an ethics application which describes the ethical aspects of the study, and includes subject consent forms and explanatory statements.
  6. Design and manage a small pilot study and critically analyse its results. Draw conclusions about the likely directions of general practice research.
  7. Plan their own Masters research project.


  • Literature review (1,500 words) (15%)
  • Reliability and validity study (1,500 words) (10%)
  • Funding application (1,500 words) (20%)
  • Ethics application (1,500 words) (20%)
  • Pilot study (2,000 words) (35%)

Chief examiner(s)

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