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 is an intermediate to advanced level unit that focuses on the critical appraisal of the scientific research evidence that underpins clinical practice and healthcare decision making. It draws on the principles of evidence based practice and covers the design, conduct and analysis of randomised, controlled clinical trials, quasi-experimental trials, meta-analysis, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines and their application in the evaluation of therapy and other health service innovations. These principles are also discussed in respect to the development of clinical practice guidelines; the study of the adverse effects of therapy; the health consumer perspective; ethical issues in clinical research; the study of the validity and performance of diagnostic tests; the use of decision analysis and economic analysis in the formulation of clinical policy; and the utility of non-experimental study designs in evaluating clinical outcomes.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) describe the discipline of clinical epidemiology and evidence-based practice; (2) develop information searching skills relevant to evidence-based practice; (3) evaluate the design, strengths and weaknesses of randomised controlled trials (RCT), systematic reviews and non-experimental clinical research study designs; (4) explain statistical issues in the design and analysis of RCTs; (5) critically appraise evidence-based clinical research literature; (6) evaluate the ethical issues associated with clinical research; (7) critically review clinical practice guidelines; and (8) discuss the barriers and enablers when attempting to implement changes to clinical practice.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research proposal; (2) assignment; and (3) active course participation. 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)
Associate Professor Tom Briffa
Unit rules
Advisable prior study
PUBH4401 Biostatistics 1.
PUBH4403 Epidemiology 1.
Students who have not completed these units must contact the unit coordinator for prescribed pre-reading.
Contact hours
offered intensively
  • 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.