Course Title: Research Project and Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Project and Methods

Credit Points: 36.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Paul Wright

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7075

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students are expected to have successfully completed the RMIT Graduate Diploma in Toxicology (GradDipTox).

Course Description

This is an online web-based course. Research Methods will provide a sound knowledge and understanding of the principles underlying the design and conduct of general research activities, including toxicological studies. The Research Project will provide students with a degree of specialisation in an area of toxicology and will nominally be a 130-hour laboratory or literature-based project.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

For Research Methods, students are expected to gain a sound knowledge and understanding of: experimental design in toxicology studies; project presentation and management skills; ethical and legal considerations in human and animal research.
For Research Project, students are expected to enhance their expertise in a chosen specialisation, and are expected to: plan and design an experimental or literature-based project to test a hypothesis; develop and utilise effective project management skills; research and review relevant literature; commence and complete the practical phase of project (if applicable); collect, analyse and interpret data; plan the thesis format and prepare and complete a minor thesis in a form suitable for submission for publication.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is designed to develop analytical, interpretive and problem-solving skills, which are essential attributes for graduates in toxicology. The online modular delivery enables independent learning. In Research Methods, the class activities include on-line discussion groups and tutorials, and written exercises (most are directly linked to the Research Project).
In the Research Project, student will gain experience in independent investigation through scientific observation and critical analysis of a toxicological problem. Students will acquire skills in literature research and retrieval, design and management of a supervised research project, and conducting research following established and universally accepted investigative techniques. Students will also develop competency in scientific writing through the preparation of a minor thesis in a form suitable for submission for publication.

Overview of Learning Resources

This course is accessed and studied online via the RMIT Learning Hub ("Online @ RMIT"). The content for this course is provided through online modules and the prescribed textbook. Further learning resources such as articles and links to relevant web sites are provided where appropriate. Students have online access to RMIT’s library and database facilities to gain individual experience in sourcing reliable scientific literature.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment tasks for Research Methods consists of short written assignments relating to module topics, including exercises directly linked to the Research Project, such as a literature review and project Powerpoint presentation.
For the Research Project, students are required to submit a project proposal form for consideration by the Program Co-ordinator and nominated academic and workplace supervisors, to obtain approval to commence the project work. A minor thesis is submitted at the end of the project work (according to the RMIT Regulations for Masters by Coursework).