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 focuses on the practical application of the principles of evidence-based medicine to clinical practice. Evidence-based medicine is "the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values". Participants develop the knowledge and skills to effectively and critically identify and appraise research papers relating to care in a clinical context, including the ability to decide on the applicability of the evidence to address a specific clinical question. The emphasis is on the incorporation of scientific evidence into individualised patient care. Students are encouraged to address clinical questions applicable to their specific clinical context.

The content of the unit includes (1) asking answerable questions relating to clinical practice; (2) finding the evidence; (3) managing information resources efficiently; (4) critical appraisal of research papers addressing different types of clinical questions; (5) translation of the research evidence into practice; (6) considering clinician and patient factors influencing decision-making, and (7) critical consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of the 'evidence-based medicine' paradigm in clinical practice.

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

Students are able to (1) discuss the strengths and limitations of evidence-based medicine in the clinical context; (2) formulate answerable clinical questions based on 'real-life' clinical scenarios; (3) discuss the evidence-based paradigm including clinician and patient factors which influence clinical decision making; (4) discuss the relative merit of the various evidence-based practice online resources; (5) identify and critically review the research evidence relating to different types of clinical research questions in health care; (6) identify the highest level of evidence to address specific health care research questions; (7) describe the facilitators and barriers to translation of evidence; and (8) describe the use of audit and research to improve clinical care.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online quizzes; (2) online presentation; and (3) an end-of-unit 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)
Professor Tony Celenza
Unit rules
Advisable prior study
MEDC5805 Principles of Research Design in Medicine
Contact hours
Predominantly online course, approximately 8 hours per week
This unit is suitable for clinical staff in health care practice to improve their understanding and application of the literature related to critical care, and as a preliminary unit when considering the commencement of 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.