University of Technology Sydney

96307 Applied Research Skills for High Performance Sport

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 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

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


This subject examines the fundamentals of science, scientific method, research methods and challenges in applying science in practice. Students explore a philosophical approach to science and develop critical thinking skills. This is achieved by examining basic scientific philosophical concepts, and by learning to evaluate common biases and fallacies that exist in High Performance Sport. Knowledge of scientific and research methods are taught, so as to equip the student with appropriate instruments to evaluate the strength of claims and information delivered to practitioners in a High Performance environment. Students also learn to embrace and communicate uncertainty, and synthesize information to support informed decision making.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Develop fundamental knowledge of science, research methods and logic.
B. Apply fundamental knowledge of science, research methods and logic to examine and critically appraisal complex problems and theories.
C. Employ theoretical knowledge and philosophical constructs to drive the development of sound scientific rationales.
D. Critically evaluate and communicate contemporary ideas/theories, and develop the ability to deconstruct these into simpler parts; Demonstrate recognition for how these parts relate and are organized.
E. Demonstrate an ability to understand uncertainty in high performance sport contexts, and be able to communicate informed decision making in relation to this
F. Demonstrate the ability to make judgments based on strength of evidence according to internal validity and externally established criteria.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Adapt to an extensive array of stakeholder circumstances and integrate evidence to empower optimal and sustainable sport, exercise and health outcomes for service users. (1.2)
  • Critically appraise, assess and synthesise evidence relevant to high performance sport practice from an extensive range of sources to develop creative, innovative and effective evidence-based solutions. (2.1)
  • Expertly solve problems by applying advanced methodologies of sport, exercise and health interventions in a logical and systematic manner; and the ability to document decisions appropriately. (2.2)
  • Demonstrate expert judgement, legal responsibility and ethical accountability to practise within the ethical boundaries of high performance sport professions and in accordance with professional practice, governance and privacy obligations to uphold ethical practice and the values of sporting excellence, fairness and athlete safety and wellbeing. (3.1)
  • Expertly integrate expertise and synthesise evidence to determine the validity and reliability of a range of advanced methodologies, tools and techniques and employ those relevant to high performance sport practice. (4.2)
  • Expertly communicate with key stakeholders and adapt to challenging, complex and diverse industry contexts to create positive and professional relationships in a high performance sport environment. (5.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject introduces the students to fundamental concepts. It incorporates a range of activities that will interactively engage students with the content so that they can embed new knowledge in a variety of ways, and receive additional explanations if required. Three online modules will form the foundations of the subject, with the addition of an end-of-session workshop.

Teaching and learning strategies will assist students to develop critical thinking skills, as well as encourage them to apply these concepts with actual information as used in real, high performance sport environments. Additionally, students will undertake activities that are designed to enable them to learn through discovery.

Students will be required to prepare for collaborative activities and engage with other students and teachers via the online platform (Canvas) and live (Zoom) online sessions. Using these mediums, the class will interact weekly with the subject coordinator and peers on topics and activities related to each week’s topic of focus. Students will be required to communicate information and demonstrate their understanding in a variety of formats, including written and verbal forms, often incorporating technology via online tools.

Assessment tasks are designed to enable students to demonstrate what they can do with what they have learned.

Content (topics)

Module 1: Understanding science and the scientific method
Science and the scientific method
Philosophy of science: history and milestones
Philosophy of science: scientific reasoning

Module 2: Critical thinking and logic
Critical thinking
Logic: essentials
Fallacies and bias
Confirmation theory and evidence

Module 3: A primer on research methods and techniques
The research process and research designs
The hierarchy of evidence: quality matters
Accumulating knowledge: systematic review and meta-analysis
Description, prediction and causation
Fundamental statistical concepts and common mistakes


Assessment task 1: Oral Presentation


The intent of this task is to provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate frameworks using logic and reasoning, and effectively communicate their findings.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B and D

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

2.1, 2.2 and 5.2

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

10-15 min oral presentation

Assessment task 2: Technical report


The intent of this task is for students to learn how to critically examine the validity of theories and their application, using a real case study. Students will be required to apply logic and critical thinking. Furthermore, the student will learn how to provide a document informing industry stakeholders, so that the arguments are clearly articulated and comprehensible, while respecting the technical requirement.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

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

1.2, 2.1, 2.2 and 3.1

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

< 2,000 words

Assessment task 3: Risk of bias assessment


The intent of this task is to use recognised evaluation tools for assessing the risk of bias, and evaluating whether the conclusions of the studies are commensurate to the study quality. Based on the results of the report the student will have to decide whether the results of the study and systematic review support (or not) the interventions.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, C and F

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

2.2, 3.1 and 4.2

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

2 x A4 pages, minimum font size 10


References used to prepare this subject

  1. Ikuenobe, P. (2001). Teaching and Assessing Critical Thinking Abilities as Outcomes in an Informal Logic Course. Teaching in Higher Education, 6(1), 19–32. doi:10.1080/13562510020029572
  2. National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  3. Adams N. E. (2015). Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive learning objectives. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 103(3), 152–153.

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, 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.
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