The Master of Clinical Research Methods is offered by Monash University's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. It is the only one of its kind in Victoria and facilitates the development of a range of analytical and communication skills necessary to work in the broad domain of clinical research and practice.
The course enables students to develop a detailed understanding of biostatistics, epidemiology, data management, clinical trials, clinical measurement, ethical practice, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and critical appraisal of the scientific literature for application in research and clinical practice.
To ensure depth of understanding, as well as providing a valuable opportunity to innovate within their particular fields, students have the option to develop their own research protocol and undertake a clinical epidemiological project.
The course structure and flexibility assists students to extend, integrate and apply their core knowledge and skills with depth across the broad domain of clinical practice and research, something that students want in a highly competitive industry and employers have identified as important.
Taught by some of Australia's leading clinical academics, the curriculum is designed for students seeking to balance the demands of a busy workflow with the need to engage in further professional development. Structured around a mixture of online educational delivery and face-to-face block days, the course provides a level of detailed engagement that is also flexible. Block days are delivered at The Alfred Hospital, a major teaching hospital in inner-city Melbourne.
The course is offered full-time or part-time. Assessment is based on written assignments, examinations, class participation, web-based tasks and the optional supervised research project.
These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 9 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 9 and Monash Graduate Attributes (http://monash.edu.au/pubs/handbooks/alignmentofoutcomes.html).
Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that students will be able to:
- competently search the scientific literature using verified methods to address questions regarding diagnosis, treatment, prognosis or harm
- critically appraise and interpret the scientific literature to inform clinical practice, or further research, within both an Australian and international context
- independently design and execute small clinical studies, analyse data using statistical software packages, and communicate findings in the research and the clinical setting
- communicate theoretical and practical knowledge regarding the safe and ethical conduct of clinical and epidemiological studies to research and clinical professionals
- apply clinical research-related knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgement, adaptability, and responsibility to address a range of clinical and research problems relevant at a community, national, international or global level.
The course is structured in two parts: Part A. Clinical research studies and Part B. Advanced application studies.
Part A. Clinical research studies
In these studies, you will gain knowledge and skills in biostatistics, epidemiology, data management, clinical trials, clinical measurement, ethical practice, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and critical appraisal of quantitative scientific literature for application in research and clinical practice.
Part B. Advanced application studies
The focus of these studies is professional or scholarly work that can contribute to a portfolio of professional development. You will complete a 12-point research project (7000-8000 words) and 12 points of electives.
The course comprises 72 points structured into two parts: Part A. Clinical research studies (48 points) and Part B. Advanced application expertise (24 points).
- Students admitted at Entry level 1 complete 72 points, comprising Parts A and B.
- Students admitted at Entry level 2 complete 48 points, comprising Part A.
The course progression mapcourse progression map (http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/2017handbooks/maps/map-m6028.html) will assist you to plan to meet the course requirements, and guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.
Units are 6 points unless otherwise stated.
Part A. Clinical research studies (48 points)
- MPH5040 Introductory epidemiology
- MPH5041 Introductory biostatistics
- MPH5213 Research methods
- MPH5283 Ethics, good research practice and practical research skills
- MPH5237 Clinical measurement
- MPH5236 Clinical trials
- MPH5239 Systematic reviews and meta-analysis
- MPH5202 Clinical epidemiology
Students must achieve a minimum mark of 70 per cent in MPH5040 and MPH5041 to progress into Part B. Students who do not achieve the required minimum marks will be allowed to complete Part A and exit with a Graduate Diploma of Clinical Research Methods, provided they have satisfied the requirements for that award.
Part B. Advanced application studies (24 points)
- MPH5231 Research design and project proposal and
- MPH5232 Research conduct analysis, write-up and submission
12 points from the elective list below
- MPH5200 Regression methods for epidemiology
- MPH5207 Chronic diseases: epidemiology and prevention
- MPH5218 Infectious diseases: epidemiology and prevention
- MPH5256 Injury epidemiology and prevention
- MPH5270 Advanced statistical methods for clinical research
- MPH5277 Practical data management
- MAP4200 Improving indigenous equity in professional practice
Students may exit this course early and apply to graduate with one of the following awards, provided they have satisfied the requirements for that award during their enrolment in this master's course:
- Graduate Certificate of Clinical Research Methods after successful completion of MPH5040, MPH5041, MPH5213 and MPH5283 (24 points)
- Graduate Diploma of Clinical Research Methods after successful completion of Part A (48 points).
Progression to further studies
Students admitted at entry level 1 complete a research project (12 points) and achieve a Distinction (70 per cent) or above that may provide a pathway to a higher degree by research.
Students admitted at entry level 2 will normally already have an honours degree or higher qualification that provides a pathway to a higher degree by research. However, students in this group who wish to complete a research project should discuss the options with the course director.