NATS 7051 Applied research with marginalised populations and sensitive health topics

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 800215

Coordinator Elizabeth Conroy Opens in new window

Description This unit will teach students practical knowledge and skills for conducting research with marginalised populations and on sensitive health topics. Students will learn ethical, methodological, and practical considerations in applied qualitative and mixed method research. Upon completion of the unit students will be able to develop a theoretically coherent qualitative or mixed method research protocol and justify their decision making at every stage of the research process. The skills developed in this unit will enable students to adapt research methods to ensure the integrity of the research process with marginalised populations and sensitive health topics.

School Graduate Research School

Discipline Medical Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Assumed Knowledge

Students will need basic knowledge of research design/approaches e.g. 800166 ‘Research Design 1: Theories of Enquiry’ or 401076 ‘Introduction to Epidemiology’ or 401080 ‘Research Protocol Design and Practice’ or similar.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical considerations in working with marginalised populations and sensitive health topics
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of mixed method or qualitative research design
  3. Critically appraise the development of study materials
  4. Critically appraise recruitment procedures and protocols
  5. Demonstrate ways to involve the community throughout the research process
  6. Demonstrate engagement in reflexivity throughout all stages of the research protocol

Subject Content

The unit will include regular semester workshops (6 x 4 hour). The workshops will cover:
- Epistemology (critical realism, pragmatism) and reflexivity in research
- Ethical considerations in working with marginalised populations and sensitive health topics
- Choosing a design for your research question: Applied mixed method and qualitative designs
- Recruitment strategies for hard-to-reach populations
- Quantitative survey methods appropriate for different populations and topics
- Qualitative interviewing techniques using visual methods
- Approaches to data analysis
- Bringing it all together: Community engagement and dissemination


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Online quiz 40 questions in total (spread across the semester) 20 Y Individual
2a. Portfolio – Part 1 2,000 20 Y Individual
2b. Portfolio – Part 2 2,000 20 Y Individual
Presentation 15 mins 40 Y Individual

Teaching Periods




Subject Contact Elizabeth Conroy Opens in new window

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