Course Title: Dissertation Part A (Preparation)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Dissertation Part A (Preparation)

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


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


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Dr Amy Griffin

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2338

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 12, Level 10, Room 17

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

GEOM1159 – GIS Fundamentals
You must also be concurrently enrolled in a course on research methods or its equivalent or have completed the research methods course.

Course Description

This course is designed for students who wish to spread their dissertation over two semesters. This course prepares you for Dissertation Part B (Implementation). The Dissertation, composed of the two courses Dissertation Part A – Preparation and Dissertation Part B – Implementation, is a major component of MC265 Master of Geospatial Science. It provides you with the opportunity to develop your research expertise and knowledge in an area of geospatial science of particular interest. Your dissertation will be developed in conjunction with an assigned internal academic supervisor.  It may be possible to have input or assistance from external advisors depending on the nature of the project.  The dissertation can either be pure research, applied research or it may be a combination of both.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Identify a suitable dissertation research topic relating to geospatial science.
  2. Clearly state and elaborate the objectives, research question/s and proposed outcomes for the dissertation.
  3. Synthesize and critically analyse existing literature on your particular project.
  4. Elucidate and justify the proposed method for undertaking the dissertation.
  5. Prepare a project management plan for completing your Dissertation.
  6. Produce final dissertation outcomes of a high professional standard.
  7. Elucidate and defend your Dissertation to a peer audience (including staff, industry representatives, and other students).

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes in MC265 Master of Geospatial Science:

1.5 Discern research directions and advances within the geospatial science discipline.
3.1 Design and implement solutions to complex problems in survey measurement and land development.
3.3 Apply critical and analytical skills in a scientific and professional manner.
4.1 Communicate effectively by means of oral, written and graphical presentations to peers and a wider audience.
6.1 Be self-motivated and personally responsible for your actions and learning.

Overview of Learning Activities

  • Undertaking a critical literature review Establishing project objectives and scope
  • Determining a research project timeline
  • Liaising with project supervisor
  • Liaising with industry partner (if applicable)

Total study hours

Total hours are expected to be around 120 hours in total.  This will comprise a 2 hour briefing held in Week 2; attending a 3 hour session of dissertation presentations held in Week 12; and regular meetings with your supervisor (approximately once a fortnight for one hour).  Therefore 10 hours will be contact and the remaining 110 hours will be non-contact.

Overview of Learning Resources

As a student enrolled in this course at RMIT University you can access the extensive learning resources provided in the school and in the library, such as books, journals and other course-related materials (electronic and paper-based) The library offers extensive services and facilities, geared to assist you in completing your studies successfully.
More specifically, recommended references are:
A library subject guide is available at:

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Task:

All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Leaning & Teaching).

  1. Assessment task (5%): Submission of a 1-page project brief consisting of the dissertation topic, the student and supervisor name, a short description of the dissertation problem (~400 words), and a list of 5 relevant scientific references. (CLO 1)
  2. Assessment task (10%): Submission of a research proposal consisting of research project aims, research questions, literature review, methods to be adopted and rationale for their use, and references to scientific publications that inform the research. (CLOs 2-4)
  3. Assessment task (10%): A 10-minute oral presentation that summarises the research's aims, research questions, approach, results, and conclusions. (CLOs 2-7)
  4. Assessment Task: Dissertation (75%): Submission of the research dissertation. This can also be submitted as a research paper with approval from the student’s supervisor.
    (CLOs 2-6)