Course Title: Research Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Methods

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015

Course Coordinator: Professor Kefei Zhang

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3272

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.11.14

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

(1) Basic research knowledge and skill
(2) You have already successfully negotiated a research topic with your supervisor

Course Description

This course introduces postgraduate students to the theory and methodologies related to scientific research in the geospatial sciences. It includes guidance in presenting research results in both written and oral form.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

At the conclusion of the course, you will be able to:
(1) Be able to identify, critically assess and summarise the literature related to your research
(2) Clearly define your research topic, research question and specify its outcomes
(3) Design the component parts of a research project.
(4) Develop an effective methodology/approach and plan for your research project.
(5) Be able to disseminate the elements of a research project,
(6) Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in both written dissertation and oral form.
(7) Develop a good research proposal and be ready for your confirmation of candidature

Overview of Learning Activities

This subject is offered as lectures, tutorials/individual work, assignments, library information sessions, consultations with lecturer and research project supervisor, collaborative discussions and student presentations. There is a strong expectation that students will seek to improve their ability to develop and express a logical argument through both written and oral communications.

Other contact time for students will occur by attending appropriate postgraduate workshops, seminars/conferences.

Overview of Learning Resources

 You will be able to access course information and learning materials through the MyRMIT Studies and will be provided with copies of additional materials in class or via email. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course will be by assignments and oral presentations.