The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


Researchers and health professionals use literature reviews and scoping studies to review health research evidence. This involves the identification and critical evaluation of published literature or sources on a particular topic in order to assess whether it is credible, authoritative and comprehensive.

Across Parts A & B, students develop the knowledge and skills to undertake a supervised literature review or scoping study which addresses a specific research question related to the program in which they are enrolled. Part B focuses on completing the literature analysis, writing the review and presenting the findings.

Students who are not enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) are required to make arrangements with an appropriate Academic Supervisor prior to commencing this course.

For Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) students, it is recognised that the output required in completing the HLSC4404A&B, HLSC4406 and HLSC4301A&B sequence will be based on the same body of material and involve considerable overlap.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Multi-term sequence

This course is part of a multi-term sequence. Both Part A and Part B must be completed to meet the requirements of the sequence. Part A and Part B must be completed in consecutive terms. Students must complete Part A before completing Part B. Students must complete the sequence within a twelve month period. If students complete Part A but are unable to complete Part B within the timeframe, they must re-enrol in Part A.

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): HLSC4300. Students who have successfully completed HLSC4300 are not eligible to enrol in HLSC4301B.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Develop and implement a protocol for a literature review of a clinical/research topic.

2. Comprehensively search literature and other relevant sources using appropriate keywords, databases and referencing techniques.

3. Critically evaluate and analyse literature/sources in the context of a clinical/research topic or question.

4. Prepare a critically appraised review of the topic.

5. Discuss the implications of the report.

6. Demonstrate competent verbal and written skills.


  • Difference between systematic and scoping studies.
  • Refining a clinical/research question or topic.
  • Developing a proposal and report for critical appraisal.
  • Types of literature and scholarly sources; how many?
  • Literature searching methods.
  • Managing bibliographies, citations and references.
  • Critical appraisal of research literature - key concepts, relevance, trends, relationships, authoritative/credible sources gaps.
  • Collecting, collating and assessing relevant data from included material.
  • Identifying levels of evidence in the research literature.
  • Structure of review report / scoping study - introduction, themes, conclusions.
  • Verbal and written presentation of results.

Assumed knowledge

Students should be competent to undertake studies at 3000 level or higher.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Literature Review Protocol (20%) *

Presentation: Oral Presentation (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory)

Written Assignment: Written Assignment (60%)

Presentation: Oral Presentation - Review Findings (20%)

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Term Full Term