Research Methods in Surgical Education

Subject MEDS90011 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

Semester 2, Hawthorn - 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

Intensive Delivery

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 8 hours (Intensive Delivery)
Total Time Commitment:

Students should expect to undertake a minimum of 120 hours research, reading, writing and general study to complete this subject successfully.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
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:


University of Melbourne Commercial
The University of Melbourne
Level 3, 442 Auburn Road
Hawthorn, Vic 3122 Australia


Subject Overview:

Participants will be introduced to a range of research methods used in medical and surgical education. Key studies will be selected to highlight the strengths of different approaches. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods will be considered and ways in which these approaches complement each other.

The overall aims of this subject are:

  • To gain understanding of the breadth of methodologies for educational research
  • To appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of different educational research methodologies
  • To critically appraise current educational research

After completing the subject participants will be able to:

  1. Distinguish program evaluation from educational research
  2. Identify contemporary approaches to educational research
  3. Describe qualitative research methods used in surgical education
  4. Describe quantitative research methods used in surgical research
  5. Discuss challenges associated with conducting educational research
  6. Describe the importance of research in medical and surgical education
  7. Outline human research ethics requirements for educational research
  8. Define research questions based on your practice
  9. Outline appropriate research methodologies for the research
  10. Identify strengths and weaknesses of current educational research
  • Experiential exercise (Participate in simulated exercises in research methods) Hurdle assessment on study day. The aim of this assessment is to ensure students ‘experience’ a research method - (e.g. individual interview, focus group) highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the approach.
  • Essay – 1000 words (mid semester) 20% The aim of this assessment is to provide students to reflect on a research method for educational research. Students will be expected to draw on ‘methodology’ research to identify best practice.
  • Research proposal - 4,500 words (end semester) 80% The aim of this assessment is to provide students with an opportunity to prepare a research proposal on a surgical educational project which will enable judgement of their ability to identify and articulate a research question relevant to surgical education, present a critique of current literature, locate their work in a theoretical framework, select appropriate methods for study, present a Gantt chart or similar representation of a research schedule.
Prescribed Texts:

Reading materials online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Understanding of the depth of supporting research available to assist in optimising graduate teaching and learning
  • Study skills related to a range of educational methods
  • Academic reading skills
  • Academic writing
  • Applying theory to practice
  • Reference manager skills
  • Work effectively within a small group
  • Learn independently
Links to further information:

IT requirements:

Participants will require access to the internet with a minimum connection speed of 256Kbps to access course materials and to participate in on-line discussions and presentations forums. Faster connection speeds are preferred. Participants will also need to verify that their internet connection is configured to allow them to view streamed audio and video files. Test files will be made available for students to test their connections.

Participants are expected to have a headset and microphone connected to their computer for participation in on-line activities.

Participants will be expected to have access to the following Microsoft Office products to fully participate:

  • MS Word
  • MS Powerpoint

All online applications will be web-based and no special software is required.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Surgical Education
Master of Surgical Education

Download PDF version.