Methods for Evaluating Health Services 1

Subject 505-511 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Classroom and Distance

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2-hour lecture per week (Classroom)
Total Time Commitment:

Students will be expected to undertake additional study of 6 to 8 hours per week.

Distance: Approximately 120 hours per semester. This time includes working through the session, completing session activities, reading key references, participating in the Forum(s) or tele-tutorial, communicating with your tutor and other students, completing assessment: tasks and the assignment.


None, though completion of 505-509 Health Program Evaluation 1 is desirable

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Margaret Kelaher


Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics

School of Population Health

Subject Overview:

This subject is a how-to guide for conducting health services research and health program evaluation. Students will be asked to undertake in-depth studies in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, the use and limitations of experimental, quasi-experimental and naturalistic research designs. Students will also be introduced to the theory of measurement in public health programs, data collection methods and the critical appraisal of evidence. Hands on analysis of small datasets will provide an introduction to computer software techniques.


On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • plan a study;
  • determine an appropriate sample strategy;
  • determine an appropriate sample size;
  • apply principles of measurement to select appropriate instruments and indicators;
  • collect, manage and analyse quantitative data;
  • collect, manage and analyse qualitative data;
  • report and synthesise data to answer health services research and health program evaluation questions; and
  • apply these skills independently in a range of contexts.

3 assessment exercises (10% each); Critical appraisal of a health service research project of 1,000-words (20%), and a major assignment of 3,000-words due at end of semester (50%).

Prescribed Texts:

Peat, J.K, Health Sciences Research: A handbook of quantitative methods, Crows Nest, NSW, Allen & Unwin, 2001.

Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.

Related Course(s): Master of Public Health

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