Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Rosalie Aroni


This unit builds on the introduction to research methods provided in HSC1061. In that unit students' learning was focused on appraising evidence produced by other researchers, and on describing and comparing study designs. In this unit we extend this learning by enabling students to develop skills in designing and conducting their own research projects. The unit will cover: developing answerable research questions, matching research questions with study designs, collecting and analysing study data, managing research projects, and applications of quantitative, qualitative and combined approaches. The cultural, ethical and political contexts within which research takes place will also be discussed.


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

  1. Develop researchable questions by completing a literature review to determine gaps in current knowledge
  2. Develop and prepare a viable research protocol (which includes detailing the chosen research design, sampling and recruitment procedures, data collection and analysis strategies and a rationale for choices made in each of these arenas)
  3. Explain different types of research design and how to choose the most appropriate design to answer explanatory and exploratory research questions
  4. Design effective research instruments (questionnaires, interview schedules, focus group schedules)
  5. Recognise and outline ethical dilemmas associated with planning and executing morally responsible, culturally sensitive research.


Written assignments (3,500 words) (55%)
Exam (2 hours) (30%)
Tutorial participation (completion of required reading(s) and/or other preparation for classes and contribution to class discussions) (15%)

Hurdle: 80% attendance at tutorials.

Workload requirements

3 contact hours per week plus 9 hours of private study.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


One of (HSC1061, HSC1082, PHH1061).