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Unit outline_

MEDF5005: Health Research Methods and Ethics

Semester 1, 2021 [Block mode] - Remote

This unit of study introduces students to the fundamental skills that are required for postgraduate research in medicine and health. Students will learn how to conduct research that is scientifically and ethically sound, and be able to critically appraise and review literature. Students will understand the strengths and limitations of common study designs and develop simple but important statistical analysis skills, including how to present and interpret data, basic data management skills, and how to determine the required sample size for a study. Obtaining ethics approval is necessary for any study involving the collection or analysis of data involving humans, animals or their tissues. Hence, this unit will also cover ethics in research and when and how to apply for ethics approval. These fundamental skills promote a scholarly attitude towards knowledge and understanding, and are essential for engagement with the research community.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Public Health
Credit points 6
Prerequisites
? 
None
Corequisites
? 
None
Prohibitions
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

No

Teaching staff

Coordinator Christina Abdelshaheed, christina.abdelshaheed@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Study design assignment
Written assessment
15% Week -05 2-3 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO2
Assignment Critical appraisal assignment
Written assessment
20% Week 07 2-4 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Assignment Ethics assignment
Written Assessment
15% Week 08 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO9 LO10
Assignment Statistics assignment
Written assessment
30% Week 10 5-10 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5
In-semester test (Take-home short release) Type D in-semester exam Statistics exam
See Canvas
20% Week 12
Due date: 29 May 2021 at 08:15
2.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO7 LO8
Type D in-semester exam = Type D in-semester exam ?

Assessment summary

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

To be awarded to students who, in their performance in assessment tasks, demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard.

Distinction

75 - 84

To be awarded to students who, in their performance in assessment tasks, demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard.

Credit

65 - 74

To be awarded to students who, in their performance in assessment tasks, demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard.

Pass

50 - 64

To be awarded to students who, in their performance in assessment tasks, demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard.

Fail

0 - 49

To be awarded to students who, in their performance in assessment tasks, fail to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard established by the faculty. This grade, with corresponding mark, should also be used in cases where a student fails to achieve a mandated standard in a compulsory assessment, thereby failing to demonstrate the learning outcomes to a satisfactory standard.

Absent Fail 0-49 To be awarded to students who fail to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard through failure to submit or attend compulsory assessment tasks or to attend classes to the required level. In cases where a student receives some marks but fails the unit through failure to attend or submit a compulsory task, the mark entered shall be the marks awarded by the faculty up to a maximum of 49. This grade should not be used in cases where a student attempts all assessment tasks but fails to achieve a mandated minimum standard in one or more task. In such cases a Fail (FA) grade and a mark less than 50 should be awarded.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the advantages and disadvantages of the common study types
  • LO2. identify and describe sources of bias
  • LO3. design and critically appraise a research study
  • LO4. summarise and present data using the appropriate tables, graphs, and summary statistics
  • LO5. interpret hypothesis tests, p-values, and confidence intervals
  • LO6. check for errors in a dataset
  • LO7. analyse continuous and binary data for one or two groups
  • LO8. calculate the sample size required for a study
  • LO9. discuss the ethical issues surrounding all aspects of research, from design through to the analysis, and dissemination of results
  • LO10. identify when ethics approval is required, and how to proceed with obtaining approval.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.