University of Technology Sydney

93004 Research Design and Analysis in Health Services and Practice

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
Result type: Pass fail, no marks

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

Description

This subject deepens and extends students' knowledge of a range of research designs/methods and methodological or theoretical frameworks to explore a range of health services issues. This enables the development of appropriate strategies for researching/analysing their own practice and practice context. Several experts in the field present seminars on innovative and collaborative research in health services and practice.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Comprehensive knowledge of selected designs and how these designs potentially answer research questions or hypotheses
B. Capacity to argue for the choices made for the method / methodology
C. Ability to identify an appropriate population, sample and eligible participants congruent with the research question and method
D. Understanding of the feasibility and resource implications of research
E. Appreciation of appropriate data analyses and interpretative processes for different research approaches
F. Beginning ability to conduct analyses and interpretative processes for selected approaches
G. Understanding of ethical issues associated with aspects of the research process
H. Participation in a ‘community of inquiry’ forum using UTS Online
I. Developing capacity to manage a research project
J. Increasing reflexivity and capacity to peer review

Content (topics)

This subject uses a blended learning approach during the semester, including residential schools using seminar, workshop and ‘Master class’ formats, a range of web based resources, and pre and post class exercises designed to further develop the expertise of students within a community of learners and scholars during the semester. Asynchronous online discussions will occur during a specified writing period within the semester to enable ongoing development of students’ writing capacity. Exploration of research methods during residential school will be enhanced by attendance at speciality workshops conducted by the University Graduate School, and by the supervisory process. Learning within a discursive ‘classroom context’ is complementary to and supportive of the supervisory process. There will also be opportunities to further develop and refine research topics in supervisory work groups throughout the semester. Outcomes for students will include:

  • Enhanced understanding of research designs and methods and the complexities of applied practice research
  • Identification of the core elements of their project (design, methods) as a research pre-proposal in preparation for the Doctoral Assessment (at the end of the next semester)
  • Engagement in peer review processes
  • An understanding of the skills and processes involved in project management
  • Materials for submission of an ethics application the following semester
  • An evolving capacity to locate, justify and own their research project evident in public presentations and in their writing
  • Management of effective communication networks with peers, supervisors and professional practice experts.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Research Pre-proposal paper

Intent: This assessment enables discussion and justification of the design and method selected to answer your research question/s, objective/s or hypothesis/es, including consideration of the 'best' and most feasible design and methods. Each assessment item links to continuing work in completing: 1. your doctoral assessment for confirmation of candidature in the following semester; 2. a subsequent Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) application.
Weight: satisfactory/unsatisfactory; a satisfactory grade is required for both pieces of assessment.
Length: 2,500 - 3,000 words
Criteria:

Structure and flow of paper

Justification of argument

Clarity, structure and level of academic writing

Appropriate citation of relevant references

Assessment task 2: Refinement of research, with ethical issues commentary

Intent: This assessment enables students to identify and discuss the ethical issues that arise from their proposed research project, including a justification for the selection of the research question / objective and identification of its significance and its feasibility. Each assessment item links to continuing work in completing: ‰ your doctoral assessment for confirmation of candidature in the following semester ‰ a subsequent Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) application.
Weight: satisfactory / unsatisfactory; a satisfactory grade is required for both pieces of assessment.
Length: 1,000 - 1,500 words
Criteria:

Structure and flow of paper

Description and justification of ethical issues

Clarity, structure and level of academic writing

Appropriate citation of relevant references

Minimum requirements

Grading for the subject is satisfactory or unsatisfactory, and a satisfactory grade is required for both pieces of assessment.

Required texts

This subject has no prescribed text. Students are expected to engage with a range of research texts and journal articles concerned with research processes and their topic areas (example texts are listed below).

Recommended texts

Bowling, A. (2002). Research methods in health: investigating health and health services (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2008) Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

Frank-Stromborg, M., & Olsen, S. (Eds.). (2004). Instruments for clinical health-care research (3rd ed.). Boston: Jones and Bartlett.

Kane, R.L. (2006). Understanding health care outcomes research (2nd ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.

Pawson, R., & Tilley, N. (1997). Realistic evaluation. London: Sage.

References

See above. Further reference and resource materials will be listed on UTSOnline.