PHH4101 - Public health research proposal - 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

South Africa School of Health Sciences


Dr Juliana Kagura

Unit guides


South Africa

  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • First semester 2017 (Off-campus)


This unit aims to develop students' understanding and skills in the quantitative and qualitative research methods that underpin contemporary global public health and health science research, including the analysis, interpretation and reporting of data from such research. The unit introduces students to the theoretical, methodological and ethical issues underpinning contemporary global public health and health science research. It provides direction and guidance in identifying a meaningful research question and in developing the skills and knowledge needed to design and write a research proposal. It reintroduces students to quantitative and qualitative research frameworks and data analysis techniques needed both to undertake the study and to write a research report.


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

  1. Produce a research report to meet the standard required at honours level by developing an outline and plan of a research process suitable for the research project;
  2. Critique the outline and plan for a research project;
  3. Explain the characteristics of research questions and formulate a research question relevant to the research project;
  4. Demonstrate a good understanding of the range of quantitative and qualitative research frameworks utilised in public health and health science research. In doing so:
    • Identify the research frameworks used in a range of research projects;
    • Select the most suitable research framework/methodology for given examples of research projects; and justify the research framework/methodology chosen for the research project;
  5. Link research paradigms or methods to research questions;
  6. Demonstrate a good understanding of data analysis methods associated with the various research frameworks. In doing so:
    • Identify the most appropriate data analysis methods for different research frameworks;
    • Select the most suitable data analysis methods for the research project; and,
    • Justify the data analysis methods chosen for the research project;
  7. Identify future research activities in which they would be interested to participate.


Students may be allocated to visit a community site on a fieldwork to learn methods of community entry and how to conduct research fieldwork in different communities. This will be a supervised fieldwork visit done with the lecturer/researcher.


  • Class test (20%)
  • Class presentation (20%)
  • Methodology chapter (60%)

Workload requirements

Seminar and/or online learning activity (3 hours).

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

  • Pre-lecture & self-directed learning activity (3 hours)
  • Post-lecture discussion question (1 hour)
  • Unit assessment / assignment (4 hours).

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

Health science


Completion of the 144 credit point, three year Bachelor of Public Health degree or equivalent.