Skip to main content
Apply Now
HSCI 591 Health Sciences Research: Design and Methods

HSCI 591 Health Sciences Research: Design and Methods

 Every term
 Year 4 Optional Course
 11-12 hours/week
 3 units
On-Campus Course
Online Course

This course will allow students to carry out components of a research project in the Health Sciences. Students will gain experience searching relevant literature, developing research questions, establishing and testing hypotheses (where appropriate), designing a research plan and methods. (Note: The primary difference between HSCI 591 (120 hours) and HSCI 598 (240 hours) is the number of hours the student is expected to spend on the project, which corresponds to a lesser scope of the research project in HSCI 591).


Please review our guide about getting started on a Bachelor of Health Sciences research course here

Minimum 3rd year (level 3) standing, a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher, registration in the BHSc Program, and acceptance by a supervisor

NOTE: Department consent is required to enrol.

No more than 12.0 units from HSCI 591/3.0; HSCI 592/3.0; HSCI 593/3.0; HSCI 594/3.0; HSCI 595/3.0; HSCI 598/6.0; HSCI 599/6.0.

Group sessions and working with a research supervisor and their research staff.

After completing HSCI 591, students will be able to:

  1. Conduct a literature search in the health sciences to develop and rationalize research questions, hypothesis, and/or a phenomenon
  2. Develop a research plan to address and/or test a research question, hypothesis, and/or phenomenon
  3. Justify and defend the research question, hypothesis, phenomenon, and/or experimental plan (as appropriate to the specific project)
  4. Demonstrate skills in research methods related to the proposed research project

The course learning outcomes and assessments that correspond with the program competencies are indicated below:

  1. Communicator (A1 and A2)
  2. Leader
  3. Advocate
  4. Scholar (A1 – A3)
  5. Professional (A2 and A3)
  6. Collaborator (A2)
  7. Content Expert (A1 and A3)

Assessment 1 – Literature Review (5% + 30%)

The literature review is broken down into two parts. Part 1, counting for 5% of the total grade for the course, will consist of an outline indicating the topics that will be discussed in the literature review, with justification as to why these topics are important to include. Part 1 is due prior to week 6 and will be graded and commented upon by the supervisor(s). Part 2, contributing 30% of the total grade for the course, will consist of a written report in the form of a literature review (max. 6 double-spaced pages), where the final paragraph of the review should describe the specific objectives of the project and how it will address a gap in knowledge in this research area.

Part 2 of Assessment 1 will be graded by the supervisor and one other individual (i.e., the course coordinator). If there is a 10% or greater discrepancy in the marks submitted a 3rd evaluation will be required. Part 2 is due prior to week 12.

Assessment 2 – Research Performance (30%)

Students and supervisors will develop a contract outlining specific project expectations and goals and submit a signed copy of the contract to the course coordinator in week 2. Using the contract as a framework, students will be graded by their supervisor(s) on their drive, initiative, effort, dedication, and research proficiency in working on their project.

Assessment 3 – Research Proposal Presentation (35%)

Students will conduct a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation followed by up to 10 minutes of questioning, demonstrating their ability to communicate their background information, rationalization all aspects of their proposed research, intended research design/methods, as well as any preliminary data collection that has been accomplished, if appropriate.

Assessment 3 will be graded by the student’s supervisor, one other individual (i.e., course coordinator), and include a peer evaluation component.

Students can expect to spend approximately 11 - 12 hours per week working on this course independently, in conjunction with their supervisor, or during in-person sessions.

Weekly in-person sessions/modules – 20 hours
Conducting Research and working on assignments – 100 hours