Course Outline

NUR131 Research Foundations for Health Practice

Course Coordinator:Gordana Dermody ( School:School of Health - Nursing

2023Semester 2


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course introduces research as a means of underpinning evidence-based health practice.  You will develop foundation skills in research that will enable you to explore discipline specific evidence-based health care practice. A focus will be on the development of skills in accessing and evaluating information and critical appraisal of research literature.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Online – Online asynchronous learning and teaching recording and self-directed learning. Students will be supported with Zoom drop-in sessions. 3hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  • Course Introduction; Introduction to research, the research process, and evidence-based practice (EBP)
  • Ethics and consenting in vulnerable populations
  • Research Paradigms and types of data
  • Introduction to qualitative research
  • Critical appraisal of a qualitative research article
  • Introduction to quantitative research
  • Critical appraisal of a quantitative research article
  • Introduction to mixed methods research
  • Levels of evidence
  • Searching for evidence
  • Evaluating the evidence
  • Disseminating the evidence
  • Challenges with integrating evidence into clinical practice

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
1 Understand the principles of quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting, analysing and presenting information in health research Knowledgeable
1.1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.6, 3.3, 5.1, 6.1, 7.2
2 Manage information systems to identify and find relevant peer reviewed literature to explore a health care research question Knowledgeable
1.1, 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 5.1, 7.2, 7.3
3 Critically appraise health care research literature Knowledgeable
1.1, 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 7.2, 7.3
4 Engage with the principles of evidence based practice to understand the requirements of delivering therapeutic and safe care across diverse health care settings. Engaged
1.1, 1.1, 1.6, 2.7, 3.7, 3.7, 5.1, 5.1, 6.1, 6.1, 7.2, 7.3
5 Apply principles and practices of academic writing and referencing. Ethical
1.2, 1.6

* Competencies by Professional Body

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
1.1 The midwife identifies what is important to women as the foundation for using evidence to promote informed decision-making, participation in care, and self-determination
1.2 The midwife accesses, analyses, and uses the best available evidence, that includes research findings, for safe, quality midwifery practice
1.6 The midwife supports the development, implementation and evaluation of evidenced-based health initiatives and programs
2.2 The RN communicates effectively, and is respectful of a person’s dignity, culture, values, beliefs and rights
2.7 The RN actively fosters a culture of safety and learning that includes engaging with health professionals and others, to share knowledge and practice that supports person-centred care
3.3 The RN uses a lifelong learning approach for continuing professional development of self and others
3.7 The midwife recognises and responds appropriately where safe and quality practice may be compromised
5.1 The midwife interprets assessment data and best available evidence to develop a plan for practice
6.1 The midwife actively contributes to quality improvement and research activities
7.2 The midwife revises plan and actions based on evidence and what is learned from evaluation
7.3 The midwife uses evaluation and reflection to inform future practice and professional development

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Enrolled in Program SC367, SC391, SC393


Not applicable


PAR131, HLT205

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

The online discussion board (assessment 1, 20%) will be open from commencement of the course until early week 5. The feedback from the discussion board is provided to students at the time of completion by tutors who will be able to determine if students are likely going to need extra support, and provide information to students about the variety of support services. This formative feedback will highlight the areas requiring additional support, link students with peers, and provide focused insights to the course coordinator and tutors about students who will struggle.  

Other formative assessment in the form of 5 questions (multiple choice, matching and/or short-answer) will be offered weekly, but will not be graded. This quiz can be taken an unlimited number of times. The feedback will identify correct responses and identify where to find correct information for incorrect responses. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 20%
1st discussion board post: 400-500 words to respond to the questions.

2nd discussion board post: 150-200 words to respond to another student's discussion board post.
Refer to Format Online Submission
All 2 Examination - not Centrally Scheduled Individual 40%
50 questions, 120 minutes
Refer to Format Online Test (Quiz)
All 3 Oral and Written Piece Individual 40%
1000 words excluding end-text references (+/- 10%)
Refer to Format Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Discussion Board
The goal for this online discussions is to provide an opportunity for students to engage in meaningful dialogue and exchange of ideas related to research for evidence based practice with their peers. This can help to foster critical thinking and allow students to explore different perspectives and approaches to a particular topic or issue.
Product: Written Piece
Online discussion board post. The first discussion board post will be the student reply to the questions.  The second discussion board post will be a substantive reply by the student to at least one other student.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Understand the principles of quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting, analysing and presenting information in health research
1 4
Manage information systems to identify and find relevant peer reviewed literature to explore a health care research question
All - Assessment Task 2:Online Exam
The goal of this online exam is to evaluate students' ability to apply evidence-based practice principles in real-world scenarios. By presenting students with real-world scenarios or other examples of research problems, instructors can assess students' ability to identify appropriate research methods, analyse data, and draw conclusions based on evidence.
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
Online Exam, multiple choice, matching, case scenarios.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Able to analyse and use the best available evidence, that includes research findings for safe quality practice in the chosen profession
Demonstrate understanding of how to critically appraise health care research literature for evidence-based practice
Understanding of research principles, and application of research principles to evidence based practice
All - Assessment Task 3:Poster presentation
The goal of having emerging health professionals  present an evidence-based practice poster is to provide a meaningful and engaging learning experience that integrates knowledge, skills, and critical thinking in a way that prepares them for future professional practice in the field.
Product: Oral and Written Piece
Recorded, orally narrated poster presentation. Details about this task can be found in the course learning management system.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to write a research question
Ability to manage information systems to identify and find relevant peer reviewed literature to explore a health care research question
Ability to critically appraise the literature to answer a health care practice question
Visual presentation of material in a poster format
Oral communication​
Application of the principles and practices of reflective and academic writing and referencing in the style appropriate to the discipline.
Ethical use of intellectual property.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Greenhalgh, T., Bidewell, J., Crisp, E., Lambros, E., & Warland, J. 2020 Understanding research methods for evidence-based practice in health 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons

Specific requirements

1. Required textbook. Purchase direct from publisher as interactive ebook (recommended), or paperback at  Wiley or Booktopia  
2. Laptop or other device to access Canvas, store files and complete assessments.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890