University of Technology Sydney

92054 Research and Statistics for Sport and Exercise

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject assumes knowledge of fundamentals of research and scientific method contextualised to sport and exercise. It covers two areas: 1) conceptual and theoretical approaches to scientific inquiry, and 2) fundamentals of research methods. The first of these (two modules) addresses the nature of research and science, ethical implications and provides basic knowledge on critical thinking and logic. The second part (one module) covers the basics of research designs and fundamental concepts of statistics, including assessment of risk of bias.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Apply fundamental knowledge of science, research methods and logic to examine and critically appraise complex problems and theories.
B. Conceptualise the research problem(s), conduct a preliminary review of related literature and define the research questions or hypotheses.
C. Devise an outline strategy to address the research problem(s).
D. Knowledge of basic statistical concepts in order to be able understanding the conceptual meaning of statistical test outputs.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Take personal, social and ethical responsibility for their contribution to sport, exercise and health (2.0)
  • Competently apply knowledge and skills within the sport, exercise and health professions (3.0)
  • Engage in research and critical thinking to integrate diverse knowledge and develop creative, effective and evidence-based solutions (4.0)
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with diverse populations to enable positive change (6.0)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject is designed to prepare research students to complete the research ethics and proposal stage of their respective awards. The focus of this subject is on the development of research and analytical skills relevant to research projects. Students will develop an understanding of the nature of science and research, and its relationship the development of knowledge. This subject will also focus on the conceptualisation and design of research projects, and provide skills for critical analysis and review of literature. Fundamental (first principles) concepts of statistic will also be addressed. Prior knowledge of the range of research methods used in sport and exercise disciplines may be helpful but not required.

Teaching and learning strategies

The following teaching and learning activities will be used to engage students with the content and achieve student learning outcomes:

  • Interactive online learning
  • Face to face lecture
  • Tutorial sessions (face to face)

The online learning platform will provide students with essential background information required to develop research and analytical skills relevant to research students in sport and exercise science. This will be integrated with a face-to-face lecture. Students will also be required to complete learning activies embedded in the online platform. These activities are designed as self assessment of the understanding of the various topics, and are also used to introduce fundamental conceptual problems addressed during the subject. Activities also include completing prescribed readings, watching online videos, planning of the research methods and reflection on progress. It is expected that the development of skills in this subject will follow the development of the research projects. The tutorial sessions (five face-to-face, two hours meetings) involve both group and independent activities addressing specific issues (conceptual and methodological) related to the actual projects.

Assignments will be marked using a rating scale and a rubric which will be provided to students, along with feedback about their work.

Content (topics)

  • A primer on research methods and methodology
  1. The research process and research designs
  2. Evidence hierarchy: quality matters
  3. Accumulating knowledge: systematic review and meta-analysis
  4. Developing a systematic and a narrative review
  5. Description, prediction and causation
  6. Fundamental statistical concepts and common mistake
  • Understanding science and the scientific method: philosophy of science
  1. Defining science and the scientific method
  2. Philosophy of science: history and milestones
  3. Philosophy of science: scientific reasoning and ethical issues
  • Critical thinking and logic
  1. Critical thinking
  2. Logic: essentials
  3. Fallacies and bias


Assessment task 1: Literature Review (Individual)


The purpose of this task is to examine the student's ability to develop a protocol to search, critically evaluate and synthesise literature pertinent to their individual research topic.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A and B

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

3.0, 4.0 and 6.0

Weight: 40%

Max 2000 words

Assessment task 2: Ethics Proposal / Methodology (Individual)


The purpose of this assessment is to examine the student's ability to develop a feasible high quality research project and demonstrate their understanding of ethical issues with their research.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 6.0

Weight: 20%

Assessment task 3: Presentation of Research Proposal (Individual)


The purpose of this assessment is to examine the student's ability to communicate their research. The presentation will be assessed on its scientific merit and potential to contribute to knowledge, research design, ethical considerations and project feasibility.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 6.0

Weight: 40%

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

The Financial Assistance Service can assist you with financial aspects of life at university, including Centrelink information, tax returns and budgeting, interest-free student loans and grants to assist with course-related costs. Check eligibility and apply online and make an appointment on +61 2 9514 1177 or