NURSING 7012 - Systematic Reviews of Research

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

This course is designed to enable students to understand why reviews of research are needed and their role in health care decision making, develop skills to critically evaluate different types of reviews in order to make informed decisions for changes in practice and develop skills in reviewing the research literature to enable them to undertake their own systematic review.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code NURSING 7012
    Course Systematic Reviews of Research
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Nursing School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Face to Face weekly compulsory sessions for international students as per ESOS compliance
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to MNSc students only
    Assessment Portfolio, essay and review protocol
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Paul McLiesh

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rick Wiechula
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Discuss why reviews of research are needed and their role in health care decision making
    2 Discriminate between the different types of reviews of research and demonstrate the critical features of systematic reviews of research
    3 Plan and develop a systematic review protocol for a specific area of healthcare
    4 Use advanced searching skills to identify research for a specific area of healthcare
    5 Conduct critical appraisal of multiple types of research
    6 Conduct synthesis of different types of research including the use of meta-analysis and meta-synthesis
    7 Discriminate between systematic review methods for qualitative and quantitative research
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 6, 7
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 5, 6, 7
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3, 4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The prescribed text is integral to the course.
    Gough, D, Oliver, S & Thomas, J 2017, An Introduction to Systematic Reviews, 2nd Ed. Sage Publications, London.
    The readings for this course are available electronically via MyUni.
    Please note: it is your responsibility to organise printing should you prefer a hard copy of the reader.
    Recommended Resources
    Details will be made available on MyUni/Canvas
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is conducted using the Flexible Delivery Mode. Systematic Reviews of Research involves a substantial program of reading which students are expected to complete as an integral component of the course. The Study Guide has been designed to guide students through the program of readings.

    The Study Guide takes the student through the readings contained in the Reader, offering the student insights into key issues, significant understandings and directions for further reading. The Study Guide utilises stimulus questions, activities and discussion points to maximise student learning. It also provides students with a time frame in order to ensure steady progress.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    It is expected that you will need to invest about 12 hours per week of study to successfully complete this course. It is recommended that you plan your time commitment to the course at the beginning of the semester.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topics addressed in this subject include: reviews of the literature, types of reviews, review proposal, finding the evidence, critical appraisal, levels of evidence, data synthesis, writing a review report.
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no additional specific course requirements.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Identify two published reviews of research, in relation to an area of practice. At least one which should be a systematic review and the differences and similarities of each Formative 0% Understand the distinction between different types of reviews of research
    Essay Summative 30% Demonstrate an understanding of the essential features of a systematic review and its role in supporting evidence-based practice
    Review Protocol Summative 70% Use skills to plan and develop a systematic review protocol to identify the best evidence to inform a specific area of healthcare practice.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    There are no additional assessment related requirements.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1
    Portfolio activity
    The student is required to identify two published reviews of research related to their area of practice. One review should be a systematic review and the other should be a traditional literature review. The student should identify the publications and then discuss in 250 words the essential elements of the reviews highlighting the differences.

    Assessment 2
    The student is required to write an essay addressing one the following questions.
    1. Why are reviews of the research literature important and what is their role in health care?
    2. How do systematic reviews differ from the traditional approach to reviewing the research literature?

    Assessment 3
    Review Protocol
    The student is required to select an intervention or one aspect of their clinical practice and develop a 3000 word systematic review protocol. It is expected that this protocol will provide a detailed description of the process you would use to review the research literature on your chosen topic. It is also expected that the protocol is developed with the same attention to detail and rigour that is expected of proposals for primary research. You will find that the semester's readings and activities will guide you through the process of reviewing the research literature and provide you with the information required to complete this assignment.

    Note – you are not required to actually conduct the systematic, only develop and submit the review protocol.
    Assessments, unless otherwise stated in your Study guide, are to be submitted electronically via Assignments in MyUni on the due date identified in this Study guide. Instructions for assignment submission are available for all students under Tutorials at

    An assessment submitted via MyUni must be submitted as a .doc, .docx or .rtf file. If submitting a PowerPoint presentation for marking, the .ppt or .pptx must be submitted as .pdf file. It is also important to submit your file under your name, such as surname.firstname. MyUni stamps all the other details against your filename once you submit your assessment.

    An Assignment Coversheet must be submitted with each assessment. The coversheet should be the first page of your assessment. A word version of the Assignment Coversheet is available to download at The Plagiarism Statement must be signed and dated for your assessment to be marked (please note the details stated on the Assignment Coversheet). More information on avoiding Plagiarism is available at
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    eSELT reports for this course have not met the required response threshold for the last 2 years.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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