1 x 5-day intensive workshop per semester
1 x 12-hour independent study weekly
1 x 50-minute on-line exercises fortnightly
Assumed knowledge
Knowledge of principles of research methods in the medical, health or social sciences.
Topic description

The literature review is essential to good research design and a successful thesis or dissertation. This topic guides students through the processes involved in undertaking a systemic literature search and constructing a critically engaged narrative, realist, scoping OR systematic literature review. Students are also required to locate and contextualise their research question or sense of an issue, in an area of inquiry and debate within their discipline, while refining their skills in systematic searches and critical analysis of the extant literature. By the end of this topic, students will have a much deeper understanding of the literature on their area of interest and be able to identify gaps in current knowledge that can be addressed in their future dissertation.

Educational aims

This topic aims to develop advanced skills in conducting systematic searches and critical reviews and synthesis of the extant literature on a topic of interest. By the end of the topic, students will become immersed in the literature on their area of interest, identified key gaps in current knowledge, identified a research question for their future dissertation and prepared a literature review that has the potential for publication in a refereed academic journal.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Undertake a systematic literature search
  2. Undertake an advanced critical analysis and synthesis of a health or public health issue within the context of current debates
  3. Demonstrate understanding of public health as a scholarly field
  4. Demonstrate how a thesis or dissertation topic and research questions is positioned in the social sciences, medicine, health sciences or public health

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.