Credit points


Campus offering

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HLSC640 Interpreting Health Research AND Completion of a minimum of 80cp in the Master of Mental Health Nursing

Teaching organisation

300 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

As future leaders in health care, it is essential for students to be able to apply a theoretical foundation in the leadership and development of independent initiatives in their workplace. This unit gives students an opportunity to apply a range of advanced knowledge and skills that foster culturally safe, high quality effective mental health care through the creation of an effective solution to a unique clinical or professional issue.

This unit provides students with the opportunity to investigate a self-identified topic from an area of study drawn from a clinical/professional issue previously studied in their Master of Mental Health or Master of Mental Health Nursing course. The topic of study must be able to be extended and be measurable, appropriate for the level of the course and meet workplace quality assurance requirements. Approval will be sought to conduct the project topic in the student's workplace. This project will be conducted under the supervision of an ACU staff member in the position of Postgraduate Course Coordinator for the Master of Mental Health/Master of Mental Health Nursing.

This unit is required by students to ensure the fulfilment of the requirements of their Master course, that is, the Australian Qualifications Framework's requirement for independent project work in the Master by coursework.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to undertake self-motivated study and transition to life-long learning as a self-reliant and critically reflective mental health professional practitioner.

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 - Identify a clinical/professional issue in within the scope of mental health nursing practice that requires investigation (GA2, GA4)

LO2 - Appraise the relevant evidence based literature in order to justify the rationale, background, aim and process and procedures and desired outcomes of the identified clinical/professional issue in a project proposal (GA3, GA4, GA9)

LO3 - Execute the designed project proposal for the identified clinical/professional issue demonstrating skills in implementation, of the project design which is underpinned by and contributes to evidence based practice (GA7, GA9)

LO4 - Develop a project report that evaluates and communicates the process and outcomes of the project (GA6, GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


Topics will include:

Self-identified area of study related to the Mental Health (Nursing) coursework units:

  • Clinical/professional issue explored in a coursework unit
  • Project required in the mental health workplace ((for example, a quality assurance initiative, health record audit, updating clinical practice guidelines, developing an educational resource for staff or mental health consumers)

Written proposal:

  • Aims, objectives, expected outcomes, and timeframes for the project
  • Written approval by workplace for project conduct and completion

Conduct of the project under supervision by the Postgraduate Course Coordinator for Master of Mental Health Nursing:

  • Writing and presentation of the project report including evaluation of the aims, objectives, processes and outcomes of project.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Teaching and learning strategies utilised in this unit will support students in meeting the aim and achieving the learning outcomes relevant to this unit as well as to the broader course learning outcomes. 

Modes of delivery in this unit include online, email, telephone and/or face to face communication between the student and the Lecturer-in-Charge of the unit. The student will be supported in meeting the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit and the broader course learning outcomes. The student is respected as an independent learner and will take responsibility for their own learning.  

Students exiting university need significant life-long learning skills to deliver sound, ongoing, evidence-based practice as a member of the professional mental health workforce. To embed life-long learning skills, students must demonstrate increasing reflective capacity to identify what is being done well and what requires additional work in progressing toward required learning outcomes. Located in the final year of the Master by coursework course, this unit provides students with the opportunity to undertake self-motivated study and transition to life-long learning as a self-reliant and critically reflective professional. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy provides for progression in the development of the project and builds on knowledge and skills to enable students to complete their project within the required timeframe.  A range of assessments procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. 

Achievement of the unit objectives will be determined through the student identifying an issue amenable to investigation by project. The assessments tasks of written project proposal and seminar provide a scaffold for the student’s learning, with the final task being the written Project Report.  

These assessments are required to build student knowledge and skills in project work which, by the conclusion of the course, will enable them to graduate from the Master course as a self-reliant and critically reflective professional.   

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Project Proposal 

Enables students to demonstrate understanding of and competence in project designs- Introduction, aims, objectives, literature review, expected outcomes, timeframes and projected submission date. 


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA9

Assessment Task 2: Seminar Presentation – Project Proposal 

(Duration – 30 minutes (+/- 10%)) 

Enables students to communicate their project to professional peers and provides a platform for discussing and demonstrating conceptual understanding of the relevant literature and an explanation of the relevance of the project topic for practice.    


LO1, LO4

GA2, GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3: Project Report  

The final report enables the student to demonstrate competency in independent project work and written communication skills, suitable for dissemination to professional peer and managers.  


LO3, LO4

GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Galvan, J.L. (2013). Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioural sciences (3rd ed.). Glendale, CA: Pyrczak.  

Schneider, Z., Whitehead, D., LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2014). Nursing and Midwifery RESEARCH methods and appraisal for evidence-based practice (5th ed.). Sydney: Elsevier Australia. 

Shore, A.R., & Carfora, J.M. (2011). The art of funding and implementing ideas: A guide to proposal development and project management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

Williams, A.D., & Andrews, G. (2013). The Effectiveness of Internet Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) for Depression in Primary Care: A Quality Assurance Study. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57447. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057447 

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