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SES3204 Introduction to Research Methods and Statistics

Semester 1, 2019 On-campus Ipswich
Short Description: Research Methods & Statistics
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 069903 - Human Movement
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Ben Hoffman


This course provides an overview of a range of information and issues related to research and statistical analysis. The ability to be able to analyse and evaluate research literature is a focus. The course provides knowledge and practical skills to conduct a simple work related research project incorporating relevant statistical analysis as a way of highlighting the importance of developing best practice.


This course provides an overview of many aspects related to research methodologies, methods, and statistical analysis. A review of the integration of the relevant research information that has been outlined in the various courses in the program is provided and a consolidation of knowledge and skills is provided. The importance of applying latest research to ensure best practice is outlined. An outline of practical skills to be able to perform work based research proposal is provided.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Describe the nature of research, where to access information and how to interpret, evaluate and apply information to develop best practice in sport and exercise context.
  2. Identify and evaluate various research methods and demonstrate an understanding of types of research and perform relevant statistical analyses and interpret results.
  3. Design, undertake and write a report on a work related research proposal involving apparently healthy and clinical populations and where there is a consideration of appropriate ethical issues.
  4. Evaluate evidence based research, including statistical results and ethical aspects of research, and integrate and apply this knowledge to other study areas of sport and exercise.
  5. Justify the role and relevance of research information as part of personal and professional development and the need to conduct work based research to meet the specific needs of clients across the lifespan and with a range of issues.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to research
What is research? Research philosophy. Reviewing the results of relevant evidence based research and research literature. Database searching and referencing. Interpreting and applying evidence based research to practice. Field and clinical research.
2. Research methods and statistics
Research design. Elements and applications of research design. Quantitative (observational studies, clinical trials), qualitative research, mixed methods and methods for specific settings. Perspectives and approaches/issues in research methodology, e.g., postmodern perspectives, narrative approaches (e.g., auto ethnography). Review of different types of research undertaken. Planning for research. Models and frameworks.
3. Practical considerations of research
Developing a work based research proposal. Methodological tools in research, including surveys, interviews, content analysis and comparison. Validity and reliability of research process. Formulating a research question. Sampling, collecting, and analysing data - including issues such as randomness. Statistical methods and treatment. Statistical computer packages such as SPSS.
4. Research Practice
Research writing. Issues of research presentation: writing for journals, conference presentations, thesis writing. Postgraduate research - research questions, reviewing literature, understanding and selecting method and methodology, writing/presenting the dissertation (including style and referencing requirements). Research issues - controlling variables, ethical considerations, timelines and budgets. Research funding.
5. Research and professional practice
Research in the discipline areas of sport, health and fitness Integrating research from different discipline areas. Types of relevant research to use. Professional development, practice and research. Identifying research question, find evidence and support for plan and conduct purposeful practice based research with clients. Review of various courses and aspects of research outlined in each (such as style, citing, relevant research findings etc.). Practical skills in research and completing and reviewing a work based research project. Specific research and the profession across the lifespan and for special issues of clients.

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Thomas, J., Nelson, J. & Silverman, S 2015, Research Methods in Physical Activity, 7th edn, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, USA.
IBM SPSS Statistics Base Grad Pack V 25.0 software. Available for purchase from the USQ Bookshop. On-campus students can access the software at computer labs and library computers at both Toowoomba and Ipswich.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Newell, J., Aitchison, T. & Grant 2014, Statistics for sport and exercise science: a practical approach, Routledge, New York.
O’Donoghue, P 2012, Statistics for sport and exercise studies: an introduction, Routledge, New York.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 53.00
Lectures 11.00
Private Study 79.00
Tutorials 22.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 1 20 20 04 Apr 2019 (see note 1)
Quiz 30 30 09 May 2019 (see note 2)
Assignment 2 50 50 04 Jun 2019 (see note 3)

  1. Special information sessions relating to the assessment item will be scheduled
  2. Special information sessions relating to the assessment item will be scheduled. The quiz will be run through StudyDesk for all students.
  3. To complete this assessment piece, students must be able to access the software 'IBM SPSS Statistics'. On-campus students are able to access this software through the library computers and computer labs on-campus. Online students are required to purchase this software (see Text and Materials required to be purchased or accessed section). Special information sessions relating to the assessment item will be scheduled.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no weekly attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks available.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there is no examination for this course there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. If electronic submission is specified for a course assessment, students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment irrespective of holidays. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  3. If hardcopy submission is specified for a course assessment students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for a hardcopy assignment is the date by which a student must submit at USQ or despatch the assignment to USQ irrespective of holidays.
    USQ will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile or email unless expressly requested by the course examiner.

  4. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.

2 forms part of the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise program and is benchmarked against the
• internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.
• professional accreditation standards of Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA).

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.