Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


ALHT412 Honours Research Methods for Allied Health

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is the third of four in the Allied Health Honours program. Honours programs provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to learn how to conduct research, to develop more advanced professional knowledge and skills, and to enter higher degrees by research at Masters and PhD levels. Research skills are critical for the development of evidence based practice that ensures quality care of individuals, families and communities requiring allied health and social services.

This unit focuses on research project implementation which will be informed and guided by the literature, research design and ethical considerations which were the focus of previous units.

The overall aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to implement an approved research project which was designed in ALHT412 Honours Research Methods for Allied Health. Students will adhere to established procedures and ethical guidelines to effectively collect, manage and analyse data. All approvals, methodology modifications, procedures, data management processes and analysis will be carefully documented. Students will work closely with their supervisor throughout the semester to implement the project, including maintenance of appropriate documentation and analysis of data. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Implement a research project in a timely and ethical manner, using sound professional research and project management skills to effectively answer a relevant research question, aim or hypothesis (GA3, GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9)

LO2 - Select and apply appropriate techniques to analyse and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data to answer research questions, aims or hypotheses (GA3, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Update and justify project completion and dissemination timelines and processes (GA4, GA6)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

Project management

  • Collaboration with supervisors
  • Time management and progress reports
  • Resource identification and acquisition
  • Risk identification and management
  • Project documentation for rigour and compliance with requirements

Data analysis relevant to the project (self-directed learning as required)

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The focus for this semester is on data collection/collation and initial analysis which primarily involves students working independently and with guidance from supervisors, as relevant to their project. Lectures, tutorials and online resources will provide students with the necessary knowledge and understanding of project management, implementation and documentation required for this unit.

Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and for the implementation of the research protocol, and meet regularly with their honours supervisors to progress the project. Students will consult with experts in statistical and/or qualitative analysis as required, with guidance from supervisor(s). This learning and teaching strategy will support students to develop and apply advanced allied health research knowledge and skills to their individual research project with increasing autonomy. This unit involves 150 hours of learning which could include face-to-face, online and independent learning activities and assessment 

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit adopts an authentic assessment approach, requiring students to demonstrate application of research knowledge and skills to their individual research projects. Student projects will vary with respect to design and methodology, and in the timing of implementation. Thus, rigour and progress with project implementation is assessed through reports in which students will provide evidence of compliance with ethical research standards and sound project implementation, report progress to date and evaluate progress against expected milestones.

Students will summarise progress against a checklist in the latter part of the semester. Finally, they will produce a written portfolio which documents evidence of compliance with ethics, their planned protocol, and changes to methodology. These assessments of progress and documentation are consistent with the ACU Guidelines for Honours Programs (Item 9: Conduct of the Research Component of an Honours Degree). 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Written portfolio: Enables students to demonstrate the rigour of project implementation and compliance with requirements. 

Ungraded Hurdle

LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9

Written report: Enables students to demonstrate progress against a checklist with verification from supervisors

Ungraded Hurdle

LO1, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Carter, R.E., & Lubinsky, J. (2016). Rehabilitation research: Principles and applications (5th ed.) Elsevier Saunders.

Hammell, K.W., Carpenter, C., & Dyck, I. (Eds.) (2000). Using qualitative research: A practical introduction for occupational and physical therapists. Churchill Livingstone.

Liamputtong, P. (2013). Qualitative research methods (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Liamputtong, P. (2017). Research methods in health: Foundations for evidence based practice (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Pallant, J. (2014). SPSS survival guide manual (6th ed.). Allen & Unwin.

Portney, L., & Watkins, M. (2014). Foundations of clinical research (3rd ed.). Prentice-Hall.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs