Health research methodologies


This module aims to provide practical experience of planning a research project proposal. The study is intended to help students consolidate knowledge and techniques acquired in other curricular units through applying demographic, epidemiological and statistical principles to a practical problem. Students will also find the course good preparation for independent research.
After this unit, students should be able to:
1. Identify the steps involved in planning and conducting a research project.
2. Formulate research questions and testable hypotheses.
3. Plan a study that will test the proposed hypotheses, using an appropriate study design, sample size and mode of data collection.
4. Appreciate the principles involved in designing and selecting samples for community surveys.
5. Draw conclusions from the results of data analyses, using appropriate tabulations of the data and basic methods of statistical analysis.
6. Present results in an effective and attractive way.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Abecasis


Weekly - 8

Total - 32

Teaching language

English and Portuguese


Not applicable


• Bowling, A. Research methods in health - Investigating health and health services. 2nd Edition, Opening University Press. 2002.
• Health Research Methodology: A Guide for Training in Research Methods. World Health Organization. Regional Office for the Western Pacific Manila, 2001.
• Fathalia MF. A Practical Guide for Health Researchers. World Health Organization. Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. 2004.

Teaching method

Lectures and tutorials. The actual classes are seminars involving fundamental issues underlying research methodologies. The discussion of articles is also promoted.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is done by submitting a research proposal.

Subject matter

I. Fundamental principles of research.
II. Research process and research planning.
III. Study design.
IV. Main steps in health research.
V. Research questions and hypothesis formulation.
VI. Sampling.
VII. Ethical issues in research.
VIII. Questionnaire design.
IX. Logistics of data collection.
X. Basic data analysis.
XI. Skills for the presentation of results.


Programs where the course is taught: