This unit of study introduces students to the core processes and strategies of modern health research. We will explore the principles of quantitative and qualitative research, critical analysis of scientific literature and data interpretation, and hypothesis formulation and testing of a topic of interest. In particular, this unit provides an understanding of the fundamental concepts of probability and statistics required for experimental design and data analysis in the health sciences, including: normal distribution, the t statistic, p values and the use of statistical and graphing software. Ethical human and animal research practices, research funding frameworks, research protocols and management will also be considered, with particular emphasis on scientific integrity, fraud, intellectual property and reference management.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RBM2540 - Pathophysiology 2

RBM2800 - Cardiorespiratory and Renal Physiology

HHN2402 - Diet & Disease and

HBM2105 - Medical Microbiology and Immunity

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically appraise relevant health literature in the context of experimental design;  
  2. Apply and interpret a range of statistical methods to relevant data sets;  
  3. Formulate a testable hypothesis and conceptually map a robust experimental design;  
  4. Discriminate between examples of ethical and non-ethical research in human and animal experimental contexts and substantiate the importance of ethical conduct including regulatory requirements; and  
  5. Interpret issues of scientific integrity and conflict of interest in a contemporary health research context.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Test 1 (40mins) 20%
Exercise Research Design and Case Study 30%
Presentation Group Presentation (20mins) 15%
Assignment Project Proposal (2000 words) 35%

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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