Course Title: Project Preparation, Planning and Problem Solving

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Project Preparation, Planning and Problem Solving

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019


RMIT University Vietnam


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Viet1 2012,
Viet2 2012,
Viet1 2013

Course Coordinator: Francisco Tovar Lopez

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5279

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.07.16D

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for Appointments

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisite Capabilities 

You have already successfully negotiated a research project topic with a supervisor or a research group director. You will work on the same topic in this Project Preparation course and in your Research Project course in the following semester.

Course Description

This course enables you to gain and apply basic research knowledge and skills to your selected research project. The course develops the following knowledge and skills:

  • Research project preparation: defining a research question.
  • Technical report writing with full citations and references.
  • Preparing a comprehensive literature review of your chosen topic, including the use of a professional citation and referencing system.
  • Research methods – electronic search methods, library, databases.
  • Correctly identifying and referencing primary and secondary sources.
  • Verbal communication skills to communicate effectively, not only with engineers but also with the community at large.
  • Academic and professional integrity, ethics and code of conduct for research, including respect for Intellectual Property (IP), academic honesty and an understanding of plagiarism.
  • Understanding of the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities of the professional engineer, and the need for sustainable development.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course develops the following Program Learning Outcomes:

  1. Be able to apply a systematic design approach to engineering projects and have strong research and design skills in their stream
  2. Communicate effectively across all modes: listen, speak, write and draw
  3. Apply the principles of lifelong learning to any new challenge
  4. Balance the technical, economic, social and ethical demands of a problem in sustainable and culturally sensitive ways

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Clearly define your research topic, research question and to specify its outcomes.
  • Critically assess and summarize the literature related to your research.
  • Develop an effective methodology/approach and plan for your research project.
  • Competently write technical reports and make presentations that are plagiarism free.

Overview of Learning Activities

  • Lectures 
  • Tutorials 
  • Assignments 
  • Consultations with lecturer and research project supervisor

Overview of Learning Resources

The School provides a range of learning resources for project related courses including access to laboratory facilities and learning materials in the course website and from the RMIT library.


  1. Evans D., How to write a better thesis or report, Melbourne University Press, 1995.
  2. Leedy Paul D., Practical Research: Planning and Design, 4th Edition, McMillan, New York, 1989. 
  3. Biggam J., Succeeding with your Master’s Dissertation-A step-by-step handbook, McGraw Hill, 2008. 
  4. Neville C., The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism, 2nd ed., McGraw Hill, 2010.

Overview of Assessment


Assessment Task 1: Literature Review
Weighting: 50%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, and 3

Assessment Task 2: Research Proposal 
Weighting: 50%
This assessment task supports CLOs 2 and 3