Spring 2021 - HSCI 307 D100

Research Methods in Health Sciences (3)

Class Number: 2827

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2021
    1:20 PM – 1:20 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    two HSCI 200 division courses, one of which may be taken concurrently.



Principles and applications in health sciences research methodology. Quantitative and qualitative methods. Research process and design. Appropriate approaches for diverse research questions. Research ethics, sources of data, sampling, measurement, data collection, initial data analysis techniques.


This course is designed to provide students with substantive and fundamental knowledge of health sciences research methodology, and emphasizes the steps involved in the research process. It will introduce the key methodological approaches used in health sciences research, both quantitative and qualitative. This course covers topics ranging from the research process, study design, ethics, sampling techniques, measurement of variables, data collection, and simple data analysis techniques.  

TEACHING FORMAT:  This course will include live recorded lectures as well as opportunities for synchronous engagement. Lectures will be synchronous and recorded, and the quizzes will be scheduled during the designated course lecture time slot and the following 24 hrs. Tutorials will be held synchronously and will not be recorded. There will be one 2-hour lecture session each week and one 1-hour tutorial session each week that will include in-class exercises and small group assignments to assist in assignment and exam preparation.

EXPECTATIONS / IMPORTANT NOTES: Changes to the syllabus will be made, as necessary, within Faculty / University regulations.


OVERALL GOAL:  By the end of the course students will have a strong foundational knowledge of the research methods used in health research.  

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

Students will be able to describe the basic elements of the research process, differentiate between quantitative and qualitative methods, describe the characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of different study designs, articulate the principles of ethical research practice, and demonstrate competence in applying these concepts in a research paper.


  • Midterm Exam 25%
  • Homework Assignment 1 10%
  • Homework Assignment 2 10%
  • Tutorial Assignments (3x5) 15%
  • Quizzes and posts on discussion boards 15%
  • Final Exam 25%



All the required readings will be assigned from the peer-reviewed literature and will be available through SFU library or as PDFs uploaded to Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).