This course will provide students with a comprehensive picture of the emerging field of Implementation Science as applied to health. This course aims to develop students’ capacities to apply appropriate concepts, frameworks and methods needed for implementation of evidence-based interventions into practice. It will provide students with the ability to identify and critically appraise appropriate theoretical frameworks/models for design and evaluation of implementation in the real world. The course has an emphasis on practical learning experiences using real case scenarios and will draw on the work of internationally recognised experts in real world implementation of health and health-related programs.

This course is an elective course of the Master of Public Health, Master of Global Health and the Master of Health Leadership and Management comprising 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of each study program. There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Mode of study

External (Distance) and Internal (Face-to-Face) classes on campus

Who should do this course?

It is important that students enrolling in the course have knowledge and experience in public health or a health-related area. Interested students, who are not enrolled in a Masters program offered by the School of Population Health will need to contact the course convenor, who will assess whether they have the appropriate background, before enrolling.

Course outcomes

This course aims to develop students’ capacities to apply appropriate concepts, frameworks and methods needed for implementation of evidence-based interventions into practice. It will provide students with the ability to identify appropriate theoretical frameworks or models to frame appropriate implementation and evaluation methods.  Students will gain methodological skills in being able to conduct real-word implementation research strategies, including problem analysis, evaluation designs for complex interventions from early stage to large scale programs, health economic evaluation, process evaluation and use of mixed methods research. The important issues of context, time, variability, resources, scalability and sustainability will be considered and their relevance and possible impact on evidence-based practice in and across differing health settings and interventions. 

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • discuss implementation science as a field of research and practice and its potential impact for producing improved health outcomes
  • appraise the strengths and limitations of methods of program design including participatory and co-design for implementation, and experimental and quasi-experimental trial designs when evaluating real-world strategies
  • critically examine the literature in emerging conceptual frameworks, research design and process evaluations in the field of implementation science
  • identify and use appropriate methods for evaluating implementation of evidence-based intervention in diverse settings and populations
  • critique an implementation case study in a real world setting, including its design, outcomes, aspects of scalability and sustainability.

Learning & teaching

This course will be delivered in a blended learning mode. This will consist of weekly lectures and tutorials during the term. Taking a student-centred approach to learning, students will be required to actively create their own knowledge, and deep learning is encouraged. Postgraduate teaching aims to support students in developing their capacity for inquiry and critical thinking. In this course, an active learning approach is encouraged through strategies including interactive instruction, self-directed learning, experience-based learning and peer-learning.

The expert-led lectures provide core content material and the tutorial and online environment provide the opportunity for students to discuss the course content. Tutorial activities will be based on core readings and key discussion topics set for each tutorial. Weekly in-class and online tutorials and assessment activities in this course require students to actively engage and practise the skills expected of students undertaking this course. Engagement with peers provides an interactive learning platform in which students can exchange ideas in a facilitator-supported environment. A roster for online engagement will be provided to students to help structure participation in online discussions, and student responsibility for tutorial inputs.

Assessments

Assessment 1 – Online quiz
Weighting: 20%
Length: 45 minutes

Assessment 2 – Proposal for process evaluation
Weighting: 30%
Length: 1500 words

Assessment 3 – Critique of case study
Weighting: 50%
Length: 3000 words

Readings & resources 

Learning resources for this course consist of the following:

1. Course pack

  • The course notes with readings
  • Weekly learning activities

2. Recommended texts

3. Stata statistical software 

  • Students can access Stata software on computers in the Wallace Wurth Building computer laboratory. If you are not able to come to campus, you will need to purchase your own license so you can complete the weekly learning activities and assessments. We use Stata/BE Version 17 for this course. Stata/BE is the Basic Edition of Stata and is more than enough to carry out all the tasks in an introductory level as well as advanced level biostatistics course. Students can buy a 6-month license for AUD$76 or a one-year license for AUD$148 from Stata. (Note that prices are correct as of March 2022).