NURSING 7102 - Research Literacy

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

This course is designed to familiarise students with the methodologies used in health research. Students will learn about empirical methods such as experimental studies and also the fundamentals of interpretive and critical methodologies, such as phenomenology. The aim is for students to learn how to read and critically evaluate research relating to their practice.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code NURSING 7102
    Course Research Literacy
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Nursing School
    Term Semester 1
    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 M.NurSc and G.DipNurSc students only
    Course Description This course is designed to familiarise students with the methodologies used in health research. Students will learn about empirical methods such as experimental studies and also the fundamentals of interpretive and critical methodologies, such as phenomenology. The aim is for students to learn how to read and critically evaluate research relating to their practice.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Morgan Smith

    Dr Morgan Smith
    School Office
    Phone: +61 8 8313 0219
    Location: Level 4 AHMS
    Course Timetable

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

    1 Introduction to course

    2 Searching the research literature

    3 Quantiative research - descriptive designs

    4 Quantiative research –experimental designs

    5 Quantitative research – basic statistics

    6 Critique of quantitative research

    Mid-Semester Break

    Mid-Semester Break

    7 Qualitative research - descriptive

    8 Qualitative research - interpretive

    9 Qualitative research - critical

    10 Qualitative research – data collection and analysis

    11 Critique of qualitative research

    12 Mixed methods research

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Conduct an effective search of the published literature using health science data bases.
    2 Explain the ethical principles relating to the conduct of research.
    3 Explain the philosophical underpinnings of the various approaches used in health research
    4 Distinguish between the empirical and interpretive and critical methods of research.
    5 Explain the use of common statistical methods used for analysis in health research
    6 Explain interpretive and critical approaches used in health research
    7 Critique the research literature in order to assess its applicability to current professional practice.
    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, 3, 4,5,6,7
    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, 3,4,5,6
    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
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1,3, 7
    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
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources


    Richardson-Tench, M. Nicholson, P. Taylor,
    B. Kermode, S. Roberts, K. 2018 Research in Nursing, Midwifery and Allied
    Health: evidence for best practice. 6th edn. Cengage, South

    Note this text is also available as a E Book

    The readings for this course are available electronically via MyUni.

    Recommended Resources

    Burns, N & Grove, SK 2020, 9th Edn,
    The Practice of Nursing Research  Elsevier Saunders, St Louis.

    Polgar, S & Thomas, S 2020, 7th
    Edition. Introduction to research in the
    health sciences, Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier Edinburgh.

    Liamputtong, P & Ezzy, D 2019, Qualitative research methods, 5th edn, Oxford University Press,

    Note: You are not required to buy recommended texts. However, they provide valuable supplementary reading on various aspects of the material covered within this course and you are encouraged to have a look at them.
    Online Learning

    All students enrolled in a postgraduate coursework nursing program have access to the Canvas site.

    Library Resources
    Help for Nursing Students
    The University of Adelaide Library has a website to help nursing students use the library and its resource (

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be delivered through the Flexible Learning Mode.

    Optional virtual classroom sessions will be held during the semester.

    A course guide will be available to direct your reading. Additional online resources will be provided on the course site to assist your understanding of core concepts.

    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 spend about 12 hours of study a week to successfully complete this course. This includes reading, completing activities, attendance at the optional workshops and listening to podcasts. Thus some weeks it will be more and others less. It is recommended that you plan your time commitment to the course at the beginning of the semester.
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course is designed to familiarise students with the methodologies used in health research. Students will learn how to search the literature and evaluate the evidence they find relating to their practice. In addition the ethical issues relating to research will be considered. The various approaches to health research will be presented. These will include empirical methods and critical and interpretive approaches such as phenomenology and ethnography. This will give students the knowledge and skills required to evaluate research they locate in the literature in order to decide whether to apply the findings to practice.

    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • 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
    Search of the literature (250 words) Formative 0% 1,3
    Critique of quantitative research (1,500 words) Summative 40% 2,3,4,5,7
    Critique of qualitative research (2,000 words) Summative 60% 2,3,4,6,7
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Search of the literature

    Please see course guide.

    Assessment 2&3: Critique of research

    Please see course guide.

    Assessments, unless otherwise stated in your Study guide, are to be submitted electronically via 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.

    If you have difficulty submitting your assignment, you can call the MyUni helpdesk from 8am to 6pm 08 8303 3335.

    Information on how to submit an assignment is avialble on MyUni.
    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.

    Students are reminded that plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty constitute a serious offence and can result in disciplinary procedures. Students are advised to read the policy Academic Honesty and Assessment Obligations for Coursework Students Policy & Coursework Students: Academic Dishonesty Procedures policy, available at The following definitions should be noted.

    Referencing: providing a full bibliographic reference to the source of the citation (in a style as determined by the School).
    Quotation: placing an excerpt from an original source into a paper using either quotation marks or indentation, with the source cited, using an approved referencing system in order to give credit to the original author.
    Paraphrasing: repeating a section of text using different words which retain the original meaning.
    Please note: changing just a few words does not constitute paraphrasing.

    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.

    Feedback regarding SELTs

    Workload has been reduced.
    Content has been revised to better reflect course learning outcomes.

    Assessment has been changed to more closely reflect the aim of the course.

  • 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.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.