HSC4011 - Advanced studies in public health research - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Darshini Ayton


Dr Elizabeth Pritchard

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Must be enrolled in course 3971.


This unit provides students with the skills to develop a search strategy, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and conduct an electronic search of databases for a systematic review.

Students will be taught how to design and perform data extraction, critically appraise the literature, conduct a quality assessment of research articles for different study designs, and review approaches to data synthesis and analysis.

Students will submit a written review of a topic that is related to their specific research project that demonstrates systematic reviewing skills, critical appraisal and analytical skills.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Develop a systematic search strategy for research topic.
  2. Articulate inclusion and exclusion criteria
  3. Develop and conduct data extraction of literature.
  4. Conduct a quality appraisal of research studies.
  5. Learn different approaches to data synthesis.
  6. Synthesis and analyse academic literature.
  7. Critically assess what is known and not known in the literature, in relation to the students' research topics;
  8. Prepare a literature review of a health issue using critical analysis.


  • Report on health topic (1,500 words) (20%)
  • Systematic review MCQ test (10%)
  • Literature review presentation (20 minutes) (20%)
  • Literature review (4,000 words) (50%) (hurdle)

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

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

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