POPLHLTH 701 : Research Methods in Health

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A comprehensive overview, in relation to health, of theoretical underpinnings of research; the asking of research questions; literature reviews; the design, implementation and appraisal of qualitative and quantitative research; and the writing up and dissemination of research.

Course Overview

General in nature, this foundational level 15 point Masters level course has been designed for students without prior exposure to research methods. It is aimed principally at health professionals working in the health sector, including clinical practice, research, management, planning and policy. However, the course is suitable as a research methods course for a wide range of health disciplines. The course is offered in both Semester 1 and Semester 2 in two streams: (1) face to face and (2) distance (within New Zealand). Students are asked to select one of these streams, either an online class or 7 three hour classes at the Grafton Campus.  The course is presented through a range of media including recorded face to face lectures, lesson readings, online 'Discussions', evening conferences around assignments, and two workshops. Distance class students are welcome to attend any of the face to face sessions, although particularly the first all-day session and the workshops. 

Course Requirements

Restriction: CLINED 714, NURSING 768, POPLHLTH 202

Course Contacts

Course Director
Stephen Buetow  
Associate Professor  
Email: s.buetow@auckland.ac.nz  
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 6241 
Course Coordinator   
Dr Ruth Teh  
Senior Lecturer  
Email: r.teh@auckland.ac.nz  
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 7517 
Course Administrator   
Mrs Upendra Wickramarachchi  
Group Services Administrator  
Email: u.wicks@auckland.ac.nz  
Phone: +64 (0) 9 923 3058

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Recognize and use basic elements of the language, philosophy and ethics of research (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 8.1 and 8.2)
  2. Develop the skills required to develop a well-constructed research question (Capability 1.2, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 8.1 and 8.2)
  3. Demonstrate information literacy and be able to work with evidence (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.1 and 8.2)
  4. Identify and utilize appropriate methodologies to address a research question (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.1 and 8.2)
  5. Develop a research proposal that builds on the previous learning outcomes (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 8.1 and 8.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
World View Assessment 5% Individual Coursework
Formulating a research question and reviewing literature 20% Individual Coursework
Qualitative data analysis 20% Individual Coursework
Quantitative data analysis 20% Individual Coursework
Research proposal 35% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
World View Assessment
Formulating a research question and reviewing literature
Qualitative data analysis
Quantitative data analysis
Research proposal

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered in two delivery modes:

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities, including workshops, to complete components of the course.

Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities, including workshops, may be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events, including group discussions on Canvas Conferences or Zoom.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.


Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities, including group discussions, to complete components of the course.
The course will include live online events, including Conferences, and these will be recorded.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement but may be updated progressively throughout the course.
This course runs to the University semester timetable, and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

No changes required. The student feedback is uniformly positive.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.