HCM201 Critical Thinking and Research Skills

Unit Description

This unit introduces students to the theories and practices associated with critical thinking and scientific research. It begins by asking students to consider the nature of knowledge and how we know what we know. It describes the principles of what is known as ‘evidence-based practice’ and explores the research process before looking at some of the ethical and political aspects of research.

The unit examines in detail key research paradigms including the two principle approaches to research: quantitative and qualitative research and introduces students to the key tools and techniques used in data collection and analysis including sampling, surveys, interviews, case studies, observation, experiments and content analysis.

The unit makes extensive use of case studies and draws heavily upon examples of research related to the allied health (aesthetics) sector. It provides students with the chance to develop their own research proposals and requires them to critically assess a number of pieces of research.


In order to gain the most benefit from HCM201 Critical Thinking and Research Skills, students must have successfully completed HCM101 Introduction to Professional Practice and HCM102 Professional Communication to undertake this unit. Content in this unit is taught so that students can build upon, and further develop, the knowledge and skills acquired in HCM201 Critical Thinking and Research Skills.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit the student will be able to:

Graduate Attributes (GA)

In addition to the unit-specific learning outcomes listed above, the following graduate attributes are taught, developed and assessed in varying degrees within this unit:

Key Dates

Week 1 Semester commences
Weekly (2 - 11) Assessment 1: Participation in Online Discussion (15%)
To be completed weekly by Sunday
No discussion in Week 1
Marked at Week 12 conclusion
Week 10 Assessment 2: Research proposal project (45%)
Week 14 Assessment 3: Case study analysis report (40%)