Course Title: Minor Thesis A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Minor Thesis A

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

PUBH1363

Bundoora Campus

Postgraduate

150H Health Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Phillip Maude

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7447

Course Coordinator Email: phillip.maude@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: Building 201:7:16


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Successful completion of Graduate Diploma program (96credit points) with an overall graduate grade of ‘75%’ (Distinction) or above. Successful completion of a postgraduate level research course (with a grade of 75%or above).


Course Description

The minor thesis is a research-based activity that offers students who have successfully completed a graduate diploma program an opportunity to develop their capabilities to undertake an applied supervised research project congruent with those demonstrated by nurses and midwives working either as advanced clinicians, managers, or eductors in the health care sector. The course also provides students with an opportunity to develop their capabilities to uphold agreed standards of research ethics in nursing and midwifery domains, to engage in and contribute to the development of research/evidence-based policy and practice in nursing and midwifery, and to continually develop and transform professional practice through the process of critical evaluation and reflection.

The candidate, in consultation with an appointed supervisor, will choose the topic and the mode of study. The program chosen should develop the student’s understanding of a select research process and enhance his or her knowledge and understanding of an area relevant to nursing, midwifery, and/or health care. In undertaking minor thesis work the candidate is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the research process including the identification of a significant research problem or issue, the development of appropriate research questions, the selection and implementation of an appropriate research method, a critical review of the relevant literature, writing the final report (thesis), and disseminating its findings.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The dimensions of capability developed in the course are:
2. Analysis, synthesis and integration of knowledge and application to practice
4. Professional responsibility and accountability to make ethical decisions
5. Apply an evidence-based approach to advanced practice
6. Engaging in reflective practice and professional development of self and others


At the completion of the course you should be able to:

• Identify a significant research problem/issue relevant to the fields of nursing, midwifery, and/or health care
• Develop appropriate research questions
• Search, evaluate and critique (review) the relevant literature
• Choose an appropriate methodology and method to advance the study
• Develop a research proposal
• Obtain formal approval of the research proposal from both institutional research and human research ethics committees
• Implement and manage the study
• Analysed and interpret the findings of the study in accordance with academics standards expected of minor thesis research
• Ensure the rigour and credibility of research undertaken
• Present the findings of the study in a form consistent with the Division and University regulations.
• Communicate and disseminate research findings
• Apply knowledge of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NH&MRC) standards of ethical human research
• Respond appropriately to specific ethical issues pertinent to an approved Minor Thesis research study
• Analyse critically,
• evaluate and apply research findings to and in professional nursing and midwifery practice domains to improve patient safety and quality care
• Apply knowledge critically and discern policy and practice development needs in nursing, midwifery and health care practice domains
• Apply critically research and critical thinking processes to problem-solving in professional practice domains
• Discuss critically and learn from past and present experience, both of self and others, to extend professional and personal selves
• Examine critically assumptions and prejudices that may impact on effective professional development and practice

The underpinning knowledge and skill developed in the course includes:
• Identifying a significant research problem/issue relevant to the fields of nursing, midwifery, and/or health care
• Developing appropriate research questions
• Searching, evaluating and critique (review) the relevant literature
• Choosing an appropriate methodology and method to advance the study
• Developing a research proposal
• Obtaining formal approval of the research proposal from both institutional research and human research ethics committees
• Implementing and managing the study
• Analysing and interpreting the findings of the study in accordance with academics standards expected of minor thesis research
• Ensuring the rigour and credibility of research undertaken
• Presenting the findings of the study in a form consistent with the Division and University regulations.
• Communicating and disseminating research findings
• Utilising library data storage and accessing information from libraries and electronic data bases
• Knowledge of and skills to apply critically the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans
• Evaluate and apply research findings to an in professional nursing and midwifery practice domains to improve patient safety and quality care
• Skills to discern policy and practice development needs in nursing, midwifery and health care practice domains
• Skills to apply critically research and critical thinking processes to problem-solving in professional practice domains
• Skills to reflect critically and learn from past and present experience, both of self and others, to extend professional and personal selves
• Skills to review assumptions and prejudices that may impact on effective professional development and practice


Overview of Learning Activities

Students are expected to meet (face-to-face) with their appointed supervisor(s) normally once a fortnight and at least once per month at a time negotiated with the supervisor

In consultation with an approved supervisor, candidates will be expected to:
• Identify a significant research problem relevant to the fields of nursing, midwifery, and mental health
• Develop appropriate research questions
• Choose an appropriate methodology and method to address the research questions identified
• Prepare a research application for approval by the RMIT Nursing and Midwifery Division Research and Development Committee
• Prepare an ethics application for approval by the Portfolio Human Research Ethics Committee (and other external ethics committees as required)
• Commence and complete the research program (once all approvals have been received)
• Present the findings of the study in a form consistent with the Division and University regulations.

In consultation with an approved supervisor, candidates will be expected to:
• Prepare an ethics application for approval by the Portfolio Human Research Ethics Committee (and other external ethics committees as required)
• Submit annual and final ‘ethics monitoring’ reports to the Portfolio HREC
• attendance at relevant research seminars
• self-directed literature searching and review


Overview of Learning Resources

• Appointed supervisor
• Library and electronic data base access to journals and other relevant literature
• Relevant research seminars/fora


Overview of Assessment

Formative:
Six (6) monthly progress reports attesting to timely achievement of program milestones (received and endorsed by the Division Research & Development Committee)
At least one presentation of thesis research (either in progress or completed) at a research or professional development seminar
Annual and final reporting to the Portfolio’s Human Research Ethics (Sub)Committee (HREC)

Summative:
Minor Thesis of 10,000-15,000 words being the final report of the Minor Thesis research project completed under supervision and submitted for examination in accordance with the Division’s Guidelines for Minor Theses/Dissertations and Projects.