Research Methods

Unit code: HBM3101 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park
RBM2540 - Pathophysiology 2 (applicable for HBBM students ONLY)
RBM2800 - Cardiorespiratory and Renal Physiology (applicable for HBBS students ONLY)
HHN2402 - Diet & Disease (applicable for HBNT students ONLY); and
HBM2105 - Medical Microbiology and Immunity (applicable for HBNT students ONLY)
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


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.

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. Discriminate among various experimental designs and attribute appropriate 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.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Exercise
Grade: 35%
Research Design and Applied Statistics in 2 parts – Part A (15%) and Part B (20%) (70 mins total)
Assessment type: Exercise
Grade: 25%
Case study Short answer responses)) (800 word equivalent)
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 40%
Project Proposal (1800-2000 words)

Required reading

RECOMMENDED TEXTS: Jacobsen, K.H. (2021) Introduction to health research methods?: a practical guide, 3rd ed, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Burlington, MA, USA

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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