Course Title: Honours Research Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Honours Research Methods

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011

Course Coordinator: Professor Andrew S Ball

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6594

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.1.53A

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Background knowledge of subject matter of specialisation and of scientific methodology, and completion of a degree in the sciences or related discipline, eg engineering. 

Course Description

This course develops the knowledge and skills required to successfully design and implement a scientific research project.  You will access online information in order to achieve a systematic approach to literature searching and an awareness of information sources, which in turn will be applied in preparing for a research project.  You will develop skills in quantative data treatment in order to practice the interpretation of scientific data.  Finally, the course will provide important information relating to lab and field work safety, research ethics, intellectual property and patenting.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

 On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • use advanced information retrieval techniques to search the literature, using the RMIT Library facilities
  • produce an outline of a research project, including hypothesis formation and method development
  • analyse results and present data appropriately
  • practise the procedures necessary for laboratory safety
  • describe the key principles underlying intellectual property and patenting

This course is taught to achieve AQF Level 9 Program Learning Outcomes.

This course contributes to the following BH012 BSc(AppSc)(Hons) learning outcomes :  

  • PLO-1.1   You will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice.
  • PLO-2.3   You will demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methodology appropriate to your discipline.
  • PLO-3.2   You will be able to gather, critically review and synthesise information relevant to a scientific inquiry or research project.
  • PLO-5.3   You will work responsibly, safely and ethically.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:

  • attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples
  • online teaching where you will be guided through the course by lecture materials on the web, and by instructions in the assignments
  • completion of written and mathematical written assignments designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures
  • private study, working through the course as presented in lectures, tutorials and learning materials.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be expected to access relevant texts, library materials and freely accessible internet sites.  Other material will be provided in lecture material.  Students will be able to access course information and learning material through the myRMIT Blackboard link.

Overview of Assessment

For BIOL1070, BIOL2149 and BIOL2303 (including internet only students) the assessment and content are the same: 

  • Risk Assessment: identify and evaluate risks in the workplace 
  • Literature exercise: use RMIT library facilities and software for information retrieval and referencing
  • Statistical Treatment exercise: carry out appropriate statistical analysis of data
  • Project Overview assessment: summarise a collection of papers (or books/book chapters/reviews/reports) relevant to your research topic
  • Intellectual Property and Patenting assignment: select and use appropriate websites to report on relevant patents