Course Title: Research in Contextual Studies

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research in Contextual Studies

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Allan James Thomas

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3125

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite courses [ONE of COMM2345 - Adventures in Asian Popular Culture; COMM1036 - Histories of Film Theory; COMM2343 - Communicating the Self; OR COMM2407 - Organisations Politics Economies] before you commence this course.

Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course.

This is a research course for students who have completed the designated third-year level course in one of the majors in the Contextual Studies Strand of the B.Comm. The third-year level course for each Contextual Studies Major area is as follows:

Asian Media and Culture: COMM2345 - Adventures in Asian Popular Culture

Cinema Studies: COMM1036 - Histories of Film Theory

Politics Economies Communication: COMM2407 - Organisations Politics Economies

Literature and Philosophy: COMM 2343 - Communicating the Self

It is expected that students will be familiar with theoretical frameworks developed through their chosen Contextual Studies Major and have the skills to further their study of the area through self-directed research.

Course Description

Research in Contextual Studies provides opportunity for those of you who are completing one of the majors in the Contextual Studies area to undertake an advanced-level independent research project building from your previous studies in that area. In this course, you will identify a topic or issue of interest relating to your Contextual Studies major, outline a framework and process of investigation for that topic, and complete, write up and and submit your research in a textual form.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


The course will further your knowledge of a particular area of interest to you within your major, and develop your critical thinking capacities, capabilities and skills by defining, undertaking and completing a self-directed research project.

You will identify a research topic of interest to you that is related to the intellectual field defined by your Contextual Studies major.

You will define, refine and develop that topic to the point that you are able to adequately explore and respond to it within the limited time frame of the course.

Through researching and investigating that topic you will clarify your own intellectual approach, evaluate options for thinking about, analysing and reaching resolution on practical and/or intellectual questions, and develop skills in reflecting on the process of research.

In completing your research project, you will develop your ability to critically anaylse an area, topic or issue of interest; relate, organise and structure the information you have gathered on that topic into a coherent argument; and present your research in a form that communicates that argument clearly and directly.

Overview of Learning Activities

Classes will provide input on research and research processes, including approaches to identifying and refining topics, assembling and sorting materials, defining an argument, and shaping a research report. Smaller group sessions will provide opportunity for students to give and receive comments on their projects in a collegial atmosphere. Individual consultation will provide specific feedback and assistance to students in their research.

Overview of Learning Resources

Apart from some general information about research processes and frameworks, students will define, seek out and identify materials that are relevant to their project as part of the research process.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You will also be expected to make extensive use of the library resources.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will generally be based on (a) a preliminary project outline, and (b) the final research submission.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

RMIT’s assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.