Skills in Critical Appraisal of Research

Subject PSYT90010 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

July, Parkville - 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 6 weeks x 3.5-hour seminars
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, 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 the Disability Liaison Unit:


Prof Thomas Trauer


Academic contact:

Prof Tom Trauer

Administrative contact:

Aris Cologon

Subject Overview:

In this unit, students will gain statistical and methodological knowledge at a basic or introductory level. However the course has been designed to cover a broad range of revelant topics. The course will include an introduction to statistical and qualitative methods of analysis. Research methods in the fields of epidemiology and interventions will be discussed. Longitudinal designs and meta-analysis will be introduced. Students will develop research skills in the area of study design, methodology and analysis.

  • define and be able to apply basic statistical concepts
  • discuss basic methodological issues relevant to quantitative psychiatric research
  • evaluate empirical studies as published in the psychiatric literature. Students will be able to critically appraise the factors that are critical in either engendering confidence in the research or invalidating it. The overarching attitude to be developed is one of ‘constructive critical doubt’. This transcends the ability to be able to simply enumerate flaws and limitations in a piece of research
  • appraise and address flaws in research project designs

Assessment will take the form of a 1500 word written evaluation of a published paper presenting an empirical research study (70%) and oral presentation during class time (30%).

Prescribed Texts:

Dawson B, Trapp R G (2001) Basic and Clinical Biostatistics. Lange Medical Books / McGraw-Hill, Sydney

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Psychiatry

Download PDF version.