• Class Number 2897
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Tehzeeb Zulfiqar
    • Dr Tehzeeb Zulfiqar
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

The Research Design and Methods course teaches relevant theories, concepts, tools and techniques in epidemiology to equip students with the knowledge and skills to undertake an applied epidemiological research study.  The focus is on turning a research question into a study that is appropriate to the setting and will answer the research question.  Students apply skills learnt by developing their own research proposal on a topic of their choosing. Teaching will be through case studies, lectures and small group tutorials.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Develop and apply a systematic approach to search the peer-reviewed and grey literature relevant to a public health problem, and to record the references appropriately. 
  2. Interpret, summarise and synthesise the literature on the public health problem/event of interest.
  3. Use the results of the literature search to clarify the rationale of the study and to formulate explicit study objectives and/ or research questions. 
  4. Describe suitable study designs and methods, and their advantage and disadvantages for investigating public health problems. 
  5. Propose practical methods to reduce chance, bias and confounding in an applied epidemiological study.
  6. Develop a feasible research plan including logistics and timelines, roles and responsibilities of team members, and anticipated challenges/risks in conducting the study. 
  7. Effectively communicate research methods and results to a scientific audience, and prepare lay communities and potential participants to participate in a research study.

Research-Led Teaching

All lectures are based on the speakers' experience and some share their research findings.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources


The lectures are delivered online and will be supplemented by pre-readings and post-readings which are uploaded on Wattle.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/learning-platforms/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on assignments;
  • Online feedback will be provided to the students every week.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction and overview-research proposals Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 1 (Literature Review)
2 Research question, rationale, aim and objectives Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 1 (Literature Review)
3 Literature review Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 1 (Literature Review)
4 Study design Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 1 (Literature Review
5 Critical appraisal Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 1 (Literature Review
6 Minimising bias Assignment 1 due in Week 6Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 2 (Research Plan)
7 Sampling Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 2 (Research Plan)
8 Managing research Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 2 (Research Plan)
9 Vulnerable Populations Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 2 (Research Plan)
10 Ethics Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 2 (Research Plan)
11 Publishing and Presenting Peer reviewMaterial covered this week will be assessed in Assignment 2 (Research Plan)
12 Translating Research into Policy Assignment 2 due in Week 12Peer review

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration not required. Tutorial will be held via zoom and in-person where possible.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Peer review 10 % 16/04/2024 29/06/2024 2,3
Literature Review 35 % 29/03/2024 06/05/2024 1,2,3
Research Plan 55 % 24/05/2024 27/06/2024 4,5,6,7

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 16/04/2024
Return of Assessment: 29/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Peer review

On-line students will be required to be involved in the discussion, provide critical feedback and constructive comments to their colleagues through an online discussion forum.

Students are expected to contribute on an on-going basis throughout the semester. The date range for this task comprises the start of the semester and the date final results are published on ISIS.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 29/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 06/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Literature Review

The Literature Review is a comprehensive review of the published literature on your research topic and contributes 35% of the total mark for the course. For this assessment task, you will be assessed on the Learning Outcomes 1, 2 & 4 of the research proposal (this will cover lectures delivered from week 1 to 6). Between 8-12 full-length original articles, published in peer-reviewed epidemiological and other scientific journals in the topic area, should be identified, synthesized and evaluated.

A literature review is structured like an essay, and is often a similar length, but there are differences: in an essay, you argue a point of view, whereas, in a literature review, you critically analyse the literature in order to understand what is currently known about a topic (a well-written literature review will not just describe or report, it will look for biases).

Assessment Task 3

Value: 55 %
Due Date: 24/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 27/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6,7

Research Plan

The Research Plan contributes 55% of the total mark for the course (this will cover all material delivered throughout the semester and will build on the literature review). For this assessment task, you will submit a research proposal incorporating a clear and comprehensive research plan with the following aims: Clearly state the Aim, Research Question, Hypotheses and Objectives

  • Comprehensively document the steps required to undertake the study Methods
  • Provide a blueprint for all staff working on the project
  • Seek approval from an ethics committee or apply for research funding

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalized at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assignments assessment are returned online within two weeks of submission. Feedback of the assignment will be provided to students after the completion of assessment via email.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

No resubmission permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Tehzeeb Zulfiqar
+61 2 6125 2573

Research Interests


Dr Tehzeeb Zulfiqar

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Tehzeeb Zulfiqar

Research Interests

Dr Tehzeeb Zulfiqar

By Appointment
By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions