Credit points


Campus offering

Find out more about study modes.

Unit offerings may be subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

Please select your preferred campus.

  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode



Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

It is a professional and pragmatic requirement that all health care practitioners have the necessary skills to deliver quality person-centred care by applying the best available evidence to clinical practice. As the practice of all health care practitioners in some way relates to the wellness of others, the ability to source and critically appraise relevant literature related to practice is critical for evidence-based client or patient outcomes.

This unit provides foundational knowledge and skills for sourcing, appraising and reflecting on literature and information sources used in the health care environment. To assist health students to deliver evidence-based care, approaches to knowledge development in the health disciplines, including the generation of new knowledge, the refinement of practice and the delivery of quality care are explored. Students application of research knowledge to the provision of evidence-based practise will be evaluated through a process of five steps – developing a spirit of clinical inquiry; asking a clinical question; searching for the best available evidence; critically appraising the evidence; and applying evidence to practice.

Skills developed in this unit will provide health science students with the ability to source credible and appropriate information which they will use to build their discipline specific knowledge across their undergraduate program and take into their future practice as a health care practitioners.

The aim of this unit is to develop an appreciation of the elements of Evidence Based Practice.

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Identify health care situations and contexts where evidence-based practice can be appliedGC2
LO2Describe the range of information sources and levels of evidence to inform health practiceGC10, GC12
LO3Critically discuss the factors which influence the use of evidence-based practice to deliver best management practices across a range of health care settingsGC7
LO4Demonstrate foundational level skills in accessing, appreciating and applying evidence from a range of sources to inform health practiceGC7, GC11
LO5Apply information literacy capabilities to the construction of evidence-based practiceGC2

NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s Registered Nurse Standards for Practice developed in this unit are:

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Thinks Critically and analyses nursing practice.

1.1; 1.2; 1.7

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships.



Maintains capability for practice.


LO3, LO4

Develops a plan for nursing practice.


LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5

Provides a safe appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

NMBA Midwife Standards for Practice

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s Midwife Standards for Practice developed in this unit are:

Standards/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Promotes health and wellbeing through evidence-based midwifery practice 

1.2; 1.6 

LO2, LO4, LO5 

Undertakes comprehensive assessments 


LO1, LO3, LO5 

Develops a plan for midwifery practice 


LO1, LO4

Provides safety and quality in midwifery practice 



Evaluates outcomes to improve midwifery practice 



Paramedicine Board of Australia Professional Capabilities for Registered Paramedics

The Paramedicine Board of Australia is responsible for assessing, consulting on and setting the standards for paramedics practicing in Australia. These standards and relevant domains are articulated in the Professional Capabilities for a Registered Paramedic document. The learning outcomes of this unit are matched to the relevant capabilities, in order to align students’ development with the requirements of a paramedic.  

Standards/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Domain 1: The professional and ethical practitioner 


LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5

Domain 3: The evidence-based practitioner 

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4

LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5

Domain 4: The safety and risk management practitioner 

4.5 4.7

LO1, LO2, LO3

Domain 5: The paramedicine practitioner


LO1, LO2, LO3


Topics will include:

Introduction to evidence-based practice

  • Understanding the origins, value, definition and components of evidence-based practice
  • Identifying the different levels of quantitative and qualitative evidence
  • Identifying the 5 steps of evidence based practice

The five steps of Evidence Based Practice

  • Step 1 - developing a spirit of clinical inquiry and understanding different types of evidence
  • Developing a spirit of clinical inquiry
  • Understanding different quantitative and qualitative study designs, including primary and secondary research
  • Step 2 - asking a clinical question
  • Developing a PICO question
  • Step 3 – Searching for the evidence
  • Identifying different sources of evidence
  • Preparing to undertake a search of databases
  • Searching a health science database
  • Step 4 – Critically appraising the evidence
  • Critically appraising quantitative evidence
  • Critically appraising qualitative evidence
  • Step 5 – Applying evidence to clinical practice
  • Considering evidence in practice
  • Identifying barriers and enablers of evidence-based practice

Evidence-based health care

  • Identifying the need for information and evidence
  • The notion of best available evidence
  • Best practice guidelines and Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • Continuous quality improvement
  • The ethical application of evidence

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

On-Campus Mode

This unit requires students to undertake 150 hours of focused learning to achieve the unit learning outcomes. Learning associated with this unit incorporates face-to-face teaching activities (lectures and tutorials), online activities, preparation and generation of assessment items and self-directed study. Students are expected to take responsibility for their individual learning and to participate actively within group activities. 

Online Mode

Learner-centred online resource sessions are used to support your acquisition of content. These help prepare you for the online tutorials in which this content is considered more interactively. Tutorials are therefore used to help you make sense of the materials. Web-based learning and critical thinking activities are offered to help support self-study outside of tutorials and to further the development of your conceptual understanding.

Students entering university need significant support to transition into a learning and teaching environment where they are required to drive their own learning. To guide students in their learning feedback is required to identify what is being done well, what requires additional work and to identify progress toward required learning outcomes. Located in the first year of the programme, this theory unit includes significant face-to-face teaching hours and a directed online component to introduce students to managing their study off-campus. Lectures are utilised to convey content and its central principles while tutorials deliver interactive learning sessions which include formative feedback to build foundational tertiary study skills while also providing an opportunity to establish group-work and learning community skills. Online materials are introduced to provide students with a foundation for ongoing, directed, self-motivated study. This unit fosters student-centred active learning and accommodates diverse student needs. It includes a combination of self-paced, online learning and real-time classes. Early and additional feedback on learning, and tailored support, are provided to facilitate students’ transition to university.

In addition, both modes of delivery foster student-centred active learning and accommodates diverse student needs. It includes a combination of self-paced, online learning and real-time classes. Early and additional feedback on learning, and tailored support, are provided to facilitate students’ transition to university. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment items consistent with University assessment requirements and policy will be used to ensure students achieve the unit learning outcomes and attain the graduate attributes.

The online quiz ensures foundational level search skills required for students to locate appropriate literature. The oral presentation ensures sound communication skills which are required for all interactions as a health care professional; it assesses an understanding of search strategies and how evidence based practice would be applied. The written assignment is required to provide the students with an opportunity to demonstrate fundamental skills required for sound appraisal of research. These assessments are required to engage students with content that will build knowledge which, by the conclusion of this programme, will allow the student to graduate as a health care professional who can locate and critically appraise discipline specific literature. This requirement exists because all people deserve to receive best practice health care.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Quiz

The online quiz is an early low-stakes assessment and enables students to demonstrate acquisition of knowledge related to unit content from the first weeks of study.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Assessment Task 2: Oral presentation*

The oral presentation enables students to apply learnings to demonstrate skills in research techniques.


LO1, LO2, LO4

Assessment Task 3: Written Assignment

The written assignment enables students to demonstrate critical thinking skills and application of evidence to clinical practise.


LO3, LO4, LO5

* Online students will record their presentation and upload it to the online student learning platform.

Representative texts and references

Greenhalgh, T.M., Bidewell, J., Crisp, E., Lambros, A., & Warland, J. (2020). Understanding research methods for evidence-based practice in health. (2nd ed.). Wiley.

Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S., Del Mar, C. (2017). Evidence-based practice across the health professions, (3rd ed.), Elsevier Australia.

Melnyk, B., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2019). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice (4th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

Richardson-Tench, M., Taylor, B., Kermode, S., & Roberts, K. (2016). Inquiry in health care. Cengage Learning.

Whitehead, D., Ferguson, C., LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Haber, J. (2020). Nursing and midwifery research: methods and appraisal for evidence-based practice (6th ed.). Elsevier Australia.

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