This unit aims to extend and consolidate introductory level knowledge and skills (and their application) in the field of quantitative research. Topics include revision of descriptive and inferential statistics, correlations and hypothesis testing, general linear model, power and effect, analysis of variance and covariance multivariate designs, nonparametric data analysis and selection of nonparametric tests, and practical use of the SPSS statistical computer package. Students will investigate the relevance of quantitative methods to a subsequent professional research project which is the focus of Research Project 1 and Research 3 in Master of Health Science (Osteopathy). Students will also develop a preliminary research proposal which will be further developed and implemented in Research Project 1 and Research Project 2.

Unit details

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HHL4180 - Introduction to Research Methods

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review quantitative data analysis methods commonly used to contribute to the evidence-base in osteopathy and related health fields;  
  2. Discriminate the type and purpose of various statistical designs and evaluate their applicability to the investigation of specific research questions;  
  3. Exhibit requisite technical and inferential skills to optimise the use of a statistical computer package (SPSS) for data analysis;  
  4. Analyse data using parametric and non-parametric tests and correctly interpret the statistical output; and  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Written assignment with accompanying oral presentation (10 minute oral presentation) 25%
Test Multiple-Choice Quiz (1 hour) 20%
Examination Examination in the computer lab exam using SPSS (90 minutes) 55%

Required reading

SPSS version 20.0 for Windows. Analysis without Anguish 20th ed.
Coakes, S.J., (2012)
John Wiley & Sons, Australia.

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