MPH5239 - Systematic reviews and meta-analysis - 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)

Dr Renea Johnston


Dr Renea Johnston

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

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


MPH5040 and MPH5041.




Critical appraisal of literature reviews; problem formulation and protocol development; intra-rater agreement for assessment of relevance; validity assessments; data collection forms; variation between study findings, combining the findings of independent studies, inferences based upon overviews; statistics of meta analysis, Cochrane Collaboration.


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

  1. Formulate a structured question for a systematic review of randomised controlled trials, and understand the motivations for doing a systematic review;
  2. Develop a protocol (or planned methods) for a systematic review;
  3. Conduct a systematic review in a small group that conforms to accepted standards;
  4. Clearly report the systematic review;
  5. Assess the quality of systematic reviews conducted by others, and apply the results to clinical practice.


  • Critically appraise a published systematic review - written report (20%);
  • Report of a protocol or plan of a systematic review of randomised controlled trials - group written report (20%);
  • Report of a systematic review of randomised controlled trials - group written report (50%) (hurdle)
  • Online participation in Moodle discussions (10%)

Workload requirements

12 hours per week comprised of a mix of directed and self-directed learning plus attendance at 3 day block

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: