SRH5003 - Designing and conducting health research - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 2, 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

School of Rural Health


Dr Melinda Goodyear

Unit guides



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


This unit is an introduction to research methods used in health research.

It aims to equip students with the theoretical knowledge of research design and methods used in undertaking research, and the practical skills to conduct their own research.

Students will develop skills in formulating research questions, searching the literature for evidence, identifying and understanding the components of rigorous research design, appropriate data collection and analysis techniques, and ensuring research is conducted in an ethically and culturally sensitive manner.

By the end of the unit, student will have the necessary knowledge and skills to initiate their own research project as the basis for a minor thesis, or to conduct a research project within their workplace.


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

  1. Critically differentiate between research traditions and methods;
  2. Undertake a search and synthesis of the research literature and critically appraise the findings;
  3. Formulate a research question that addresses an evidence gap in the health care literature;
  4. Articulate the ethical considerations in promoting ethical conduct in health research;
  5. Design a research project that includes a method appropriate to the research question;
  6. Formulate a research protocol that is rigorous and feasible;
  7. Communicate the use of research as a basis for decision-making in health care policy & practice;
  8. Explain and apply the principles of academic integrity when conducting research.


  • Web based quizzes (MCQ) (1 hour) (10%)
  • Literature review (3,000 words) (30%)
  • Research question discussion forum (250 words) (hurdle)
  • Research proposal presentation (20 mins and 1000 words) (30%)
  • Ethical considerations (1,500 words) (20% (hurdle)
  • Reflection exercise (1,000 words) (10% ) (hurdle)
  • Research Integrity Module (2 hours) (hurdle)

Workload requirements

For this distance education unit, students are expected to undertake their work during private study time. Students will be expected to log onto Moodle on a regular basis for announcements and updates.

Students will need to undertake readings (available via Moodle) and view online materials (e.g. PowerPoint/audio/visual material).

Students will also be required to undertake regular formative activities. Students will be required to undertake all assessment activities as these are all hurdle requirements to ensure that all learning objectives are covered. The assessments will require preparation ranging from readings, writing and undertaking online activities (quizzes and forum discussions).

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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