Design and Methods for Thesis Research


HAD3010H and HAD3020H


The required project development course “thesis-based” option is a research project that students will focus on for the duration of their program to which they will apply principles and theories from the core curriculum. A key knowledge component of the curriculum is the bridge between theoretical knowledge and the application of theory to practice. In the “thesis-based” option students will be required to exercise essential creative and critical thinking, break down and apply theory rigorously study the
impact and sustainability of a change concept, critique research methods appropriate for quality improvement, lead and communicate a quality improvement project, and learn the skills required to design studies to evaluate cause-effect relationships and test the changes. In this course, students will also learn the fundamentals of project management and skills for writing for publication. The thesis must be presented and defended at a departmental oral examination before a committee of at least two graduate faculty members (one from IHPME) in addition to the thesis supervisor(s).


  • Evaluate whether or not research ethics board (REB) approval is required for a project;

  • Explain what to include in the REB application;

  • Apply effective library search strategies and demonstrate an ability to search databases and cite sources;

  • Evaluate and critique the quality and safety literature related to a specific improvement issue in a specific environment;

  • Measure early on in a project, the relevant sample size considerations, and how measurement can help decide readiness for a more formal evaluation of improvement

  • Select appropriate qualitative method to address specific quality improvement question

  • Select appropriate interventional (experimental) or observational (qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods) study designs to address specific research questions

  • Use sound quantitative and/or qualitative evidence to defend or evaluate a healthcare quality improvement or safety projects

  • Explain the theory behind qualitative analytic methods

  • Choose appropriate strategies for analyzing and presenting qualitative and quantitative data

  • Describe the considerations involved in rigorous qualitative and quantitative analysis

  • Use appropriate analytical methods to clarify associations between variables and to delineate causal inferences.

  • Distinguish Improvement Science & Planned Experimentation Objectives

  • Distinguish Parametric and Nonparametric Procedures

  • Demonstrate skills in effective written communication

  • Understand how to advance the QI/PS research agenda through a program that interconnects controlled and representative methodologies to contribute to theoretically sound evidence and practical applications


Christine Shea

Christine Shea

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Program Director – Quality Improvement And Patient Safety (QIPS)

Patricia Trbovich


Accepting Students