Course Descriptions

HSC 538: Research Methods I

Research methods I is a fundamental course to conduct research in public health. Conducting research using both qualitative and quantitative research methods offers opportunities to understand deep rooted causes of disease and social aspects in health through data collection, organization, summarization and interpretation of data. These are important scientific bases of public health research and practice; also contributes to public health policy implication, and research in other health related fields. These sequences of research methods course are designed to train public health professionals to appropriately apply quantitative and qualitative methods for solving public health problems nationally and internationally.
This course is designed to provide students with necessary tools and skills of understanding social sciences research methods. Qualitative part of this course will deal with general introduction and basic definitions of important terms and characteristics of social research and their implication in health research. This course has been designed to capacitate student’s basic knowledge for literature search and reference writing. They also understand about protocol and scientific article writing. They will also know about data collection process, development of research instruments, data management and research ethics.
  • Students will have knowledge on the types of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and different epidemiological studies
  • Students will understand the advantages and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Understand the application of research methods in the research process
  • Be able to identify and apply research methods for a particular research question
  • Students will have knowledge on the reference writing
  • Understand the process of literature search
  • Students will be able to discuss about data analysis plan, technique, quality control, ethics
Admission in the MPH program in the School of Public Health, Independent University, Bangladesh.
  1. It is the student’s responsibility to attend the class. Regular class attendance is mandatory. Grades allocated for class attendance and participation will be proportionately taken off due to missed classes. According to IUB policy, students must enter the classroom within the first 15 minutes of the class to get the attendance submitted.
  2. The date and syllabus of class assignment, midterm and final exam is already given here, however, announcements will be made ahead of time. There is NO provision for make-up exams except emergency.
  3. The class materials for each class will be given prior to that class so that student may have a cursory look into the materials. Course will be uploaded in the IUB Course Management and Operating System (CMOS) website ahead of the class.
  4. Students may take tutorials with the instructor during the office hours. Prior appointment is required.
  5. Students must maintain the IUB code of conduct and ethical guidelines offered by the school of Public Health.
Qualitative References:
  1. Creswell, J. W. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approach, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage 3 Edition, 2009.
  2. Kumar, R. Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners. SAGE Publications, 2005.
  3. Given, Lisa M. The Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods. Los Angeles, Calif: Sage Publications, 2008.
  4. Bernard, H. Russell, 1940-. Research Methods in Anthropology : Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Walnut Creek, CA :AltaMira Press, 2002.
Quantitative References :
  1. WHO. Health Research Methodology: A guide for training in research methods. Second
  2. R. Bonita, R. Beaglehole, T. Kjellström. Basic epidemiology /2nd edition. (2006). WHO, Geneva..
Students will be assessed on the basis of their overall performance in all the exams, in-class assignment and class participation. Final grade will be rewarded based on the following:

General total 10%
  • Class Attendance (10%)

Qualitative: Total 45%
  • Assignment one (15%)
  • Assignment two (20%)
  • One presentation (10%)

Quantitative Total 45%
  • Quick assessment (15%)
  • Final exam (30%)
The following chart will be followed for grading. However, the course instructor may use overall distribution of the cumulative marks and define appropriate cut-offs for final letter grade.
A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F
90-100 85-89 80-84 75-79 70-74 65-69 60-64 55-59 50-54 45-49 0-44
Plagiarism – that is, the presentation of another person’s thoughts or words as student’s own without appropriate acknowledgement–must be strictly avoided. Cheating and plagiarism on exam and assignments are unacceptable.
Please see the Green Book for further information about academic regulation and policies, including withdrawal and grading, appeals and penalties for plagiarism and academic misconduct.
Students with disabilities are required to inform the MPH program manager for any specific requirement for classes or examination as soon as possible.
Awarding of Incomplete or ‘I’ grades should be strongly discouraged. ‘I’ will only be allowed for students who have a valid reason (ascertained by the senior management). In situations where the student is unable to complete the course due to unanticipated illness or family emergency and has not attended at least 75% of the classes held, he/she will be asked to withdraw from that course and repeat it. In unavoidable circumstances where students have completed 75% of the classes but are unable to continue (due to illness or family emergency), incomplete grade of ‘I’ may be granted. Incomplete course has to be completed by the end of the next semester, otherwise grade ‘I’ automatically becomes grade ‘F’. The student is not required to register for the course in the next semester.
A ‘W’ grade means withdrawal. A student may decide to withdraw from a course by the University wide deadline. Students must apply to the Program Office for withdrawal from a course with the permission of the concerned course instructor, Academic Advisor, and the Dean. Withdrawal from only one course in a semester is allowed but the students should provide valid reason along with documents while applying for the withdrawal.
A student can misses a maximum of 8 classes for a particular course. After that the course will be automatically withdrawn. A student automatically withdrawn from a course will NOT be allowed to UNDO it under any circumstances.
Change of grade is strongly discouraged. However, an instructor may request a change of grade when a computational or procedural error occurred in the original assignment of a grade. Instructor must submit the ‘Grade Change Form’ to the respective program office within one month of submitting the final grade rolls. A Grade change has to be requested within 1 month of the day of publishing the grades.