MPH5213 - Research methods - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 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 Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Prof Anita Wluka


Prof Anita Wluka

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • Second semester 2019 (Off-campus)
  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


MPH5040 and MPH5041.


This unit provides an introduction to the research methods used in observational studies and is designed to help the student develop the practical skills required in the design and assessment of a research project. It covers issues in protocol design, including study type selection, introduction to questionnaire design, sampling methods, and ethics approval. This introduces the student to planning data management and statistical analysis and developing a study budget. An introduction to the role of qualitative research is also covered.


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

  1. pose a research question answerable by observational study methods used to examine public health;
  2. design and present a research protocol to answer the stated question using observational study designs;
  3. describe and demonstrate how information may be collected from people and transformed into usable data for scientific study;
  4. identify, evaluate and communicate when qualitative methodologies may be useful; and
  5. demonstrate the ability to participate and communicate effectively within a group.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • Assignment one, up to 1000 words, excluding references (15%)
  • Assignment two, up to 3,000 words, excluding references (45%) (Hurdle)
  • Examination (2 hours) (40%)


Participation (weekly) - 80% hurdle requirement

Workload requirements

The total workload requirement for this unit is 12 hours of work per week. This incorporates the following:

For option 1 (On campus learning): 2 hours per week;

For option 2 (Off campus learning): 15 contact hours over 2 days + OCL (discussion online)

Note: These options are not interchangeable midway through semester.

See also Unit timetable information

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

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: