University of Technology Sydney

92612 Research in Health

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 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 24 credit points of completed study in any course AND 92790 Evidence-based Practice
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 92972 Health Care Research Methodology


This subject is the second of two sequential subjects that provide a capstone experience within the degree. It builds on the aims of the research question developed in 92790 Evidence-based Practice. Students completing this subject develop an understanding and appreciation of the multiple ways through which knowledge is generated.

In this subject, students select a research topic and gain experience in developing an independent original research proposal. Students translate findings from their literature review in 92790 or equivalent prior work in developing a proposal that reflects methodological quality, rigor and feasibility, and highlights implications for practice or policy.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Select and refine an original research problem or question in relation to their understanding of existing knowledge.
B. Design and articulate key components of a research proposal for an original study, inclusive of: a descriptive study title; background (literature review); study aim and/or research question/s; methods (inclusive of design, sample, intervention [if applicable], data collection, data management and analyses).
C. Build a creative and valid argument to support the selection of a specific research method/design.
D. Describe the ethical implications, resources and facilities required for a feasible project plan and timeline.
E. Critically reflect on translating knowledge into practice, noting potential implications for health practice and/or policy and how this research may add to the related body of knowledge.

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of guided online and in-class teaching and learning strategies designed to develop your experiences and confidence in the use of contemporary health research methods, as you plan and refine an original research proposal on a topic of your choice. Experiential learning is a dominant feature as you work with subject resources to develop your proposal throughout the semester. All learning activities relate directly to the subject’s two assessment tasks: development of draft and revised versions of a research proposal.

Pre-session and preparatory work in Weeks 0-1
Preliminary learning materials in Weeks 0-1 of the teaching session enable you to revise your understanding of the literature for your selected topic of interest, using your previous work from Evidence Based Practice or equivalent experiences. The learning materials (re-)explore your academic skills and confidence in conducting a literature search and review at a postgraduate level, then guide you through identifying a literature search ('practice') question, conducting a related search strategy, and completing a critical appraisal and synthesis of the selected studies on your topic. You will post a self-introduction and your draft study proposal aim / question on the subject’s discussion board on UTSOnline. The subject coordinator will reply with early feedback on your proposed topic, with student colleagues encouraged to interact during this early phase of your proposal development.

Your learning experiences across the teaching session are structured in a series of modules; see the Program below and the Subject page on UTSOnline for further detail. Module activities align with the on-campus workshop days. Online materials focus on the key principles and theory for each topic, and serve as pre-class work for learning and discussion sessions in the workshop days.

Face to face classes
Three workshop days across the semester enable direct interactions with staff and student colleagues, to enable consolidation of understanding for the module learning activities. In-class sessions use active learning and collaborative learning approaches to discuss characteristics of published study examples and application of key issues to your developing study proposal. Related small group work with informal student presentations and whole-of-class feedback on discussions enable further exploration and development of key sections of your research proposal. These small group work activities reflect authentic research team practices when developing a research proposal.

Content (topics)

A range of research methods and related elements for both qualitative and quantitative paradigms are explored as students develop an original research proposal:

  • Exploring a range of methodological approaches currently used in health research
  • Developing research methods and a related design to answer specific research questions
  • Understanding the need for congruence in selection of research methodologies, designs, types of data and forms of analyses
  • Developing components of a research proposal: study aim and/or research question/s; methods - design, sample, intervention [if applicable], data collection, data management and analyses.
  • Incorporating rigour into proposed study methods
  • Understanding ethical and resource implications
  • Considering project implementation issues
  • Translating knowledge into practice, by identifying potential implications for health practice and/or policy and how this research may add to the related body of knowledge.


Assessment task 1: Development of a draft research proposal


Both assessment tasks are designed to be developed iteratively and sequentially over the session. This first assessment provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your evolving skills by developing your identified study question into a draft proposal for an original study.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and C

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

.0, .0 and .0

Weight: 40%

350 words (1 page maximum); use Arial, Calibri, Cambria or Times New Roman font style in 12-point, with at least 1.5 line spacing.


1-2. Clarity of Title and Introduction: 15%
3. Focus and clarity of Background: 30%
4. Clarity of Study Aim: 10%
5. Clarity, accuracy and justification for proposed draft Methods: 45%

  • a. Description and justification of proposed Design: 20%
  • b. Beginning description of sample, data collection approaches: 25%

Assessment task 2: Development of a complete research proposal


Both assessment tasks are designed to be developed iteratively and sequentially over the session. This assessment provides you with the opportunity to build on your draft research proposal based on marking feedback from Assessment 1. This task requires you to further develop and refine the proposal to a level suitable for submission to a Human Research Ethics Committee.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D and E

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

.0, .0 and .0

Weight: 60%

1000 words (maximum of 3 text pages, excluding the reference list); use Arial, Calibri, Cambria or Times New Roman font style in 12-point, with at least 1.5 line spacing and 2.5 cm page margins in Portrait page orientation.


1-4. Revisions to Study Title, Introduction, Background, Study Aim: 20%
5. Clarity, accuracy and comprehensiveness of Methods description: 40%
6. Depth of review of Ethical considerations: 10%
7. Articulation of feasible Timeline: 10%
8. Feasibility / Resources: 10%
9. Level of Reflection of proposed study: 10%

Required texts

There is no required text for this Subject.

Recommended texts

We recommend that you access a range of texts and other resources to guide you in learning about specific research methods related to your selected study design and method.

Some examples below are available from the library:

Andrew, S., & Halcomb, E. (2009). Mixed methods research for nursing and the health sciences. Chichester, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell.

Bourgeault, I.L., Dingwall, R., & de Vries, R.G. (2010), The SAGE handbook of qualitative methods in health research. London: Sage.

Bowling, A. (2014). Research methods in health: Investigating health and health services (5th ed.). Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.

Burnard, P., Morrison, P., & Gluyas, H. (2011). Nursing research in action (3rd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Curry, L., & Nunez-Smith, M. (2015). Mixed methods in health sciences research: a practical primer. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Creswell, J., & Plano Clark, V. (2018). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

Gray, J., Grove, S., & Sutherland, S. (2017). Burns and Grove’s the practice of nursing research?: appraisal, synthesis, and generation of evidence (8th ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.

Greenhalgh, T. 2014, How to read a paper: The basics of evidence based medicine (5th ed.). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jacobsen, K. H. (2012). Introduction to health research methods: a practical guide. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett.

Liamputtong, P. (2019). Handbook of research methods in health social sciences. Singapore: Springer.

Minichiello, V. (2003). Handbook of research methods for nursing and health science (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, N.S.W: Prentice Hall Health.

Plichta, S., Kelvin, E., & Munro, B. (2013). Munro’s statistical methods for health care research (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health.

Ross, T. (2012), A survival guide for health research methods. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press, McGraw-Hill,.

Schneider, Z., Whitehead, D., LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2016). Nursing & midwifery research: methods and appraisal for evidence-based practice, (5th ed.). Sydney: Mosby.

Silverman, D. (2006). Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analyzing talk, text and interaction (3rd ed.). London: Sage.

Thomas, D. R., & Hodges, I. (2010). Designing and managing your research project: core skills for social and health research. Sage, Los Angeles.

Waltz, C., Strickland, O., & Lenz, E. (2017). Measurement in nursing and health research (5th ed.). New York, NY: Springer.


Additional resources and references are provided in the online Subject Canvas site.

Other resources

UTS Student Centres
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Details for student centres:
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UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
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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.