Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit examines research methods from the perspective of addressing 'real life' clinical questions in medicine. This unit takes a systematic approach to the learning of research design and statistics and includes: (1) evaluating the literature to define a research question and hypothesis; (2) key characteristics (and examples) of different study designs used in clinical research—experimental, observational, laboratory-based, diagnostic test accuracy, surveys and qualitative; (3) threats to internal and external validity of studies conducted in a clinical environment; (4) hypothesis testing; (5) power and sample size determination; (6) interpretation of measures of association commonly used in clinical research; (7) interpretation of commonly used statistics in clinical research; (8) principles of database establishment and data management; (9) assessment of the performance of diagnostic tests performed in medicine; and (10) principles of good clinical research practice (human and animal research).

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1OnlineOnline flexible
Semester 2OnlineOnline flexible

Students are able to (1) describe and demonstrate the process for developing a research question and research hypothesis; (2) discuss common research methodologies used in clinical research and the approach to developing a research project; (3) interpret and demonstrate appropriate use of statistical analysis; (4) demonstrate appropriate data management; (5) interpret and display research results appropriately; (6) describe challenges to performing research in a clinical environment; and (7) describe the principles of good research practice.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online quizzes and (2) end-semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Hanh Ngo
Contact hours
Predominantly online course, approximately 8 hours per week
This unit is suitable for clinical staff in clinical environments to improve their knowledge of research design and methodology to enhance their critical analysis skills of critical care literature, or as a preliminary unit prior to commencing a research project.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.