Course Title: Research Thesis 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Thesis 1

Credit Points: 24.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences

Distance / Correspondence

Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2011

Course Coordinator: Dr Tony Zhang

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7758

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.4.59

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Completion of a degree in an appropriate discipline at a standard sufficient for Honours entry.

Course Description

This course aims to enable you to develop a research project in complementary healthcare. Research Thesis 1 requires the development of a research proposal (the project will be undertaken for Research Thesis 2). Components of Research Thesis 1 include a literature review and development of a research question, a proposal, an ethics application and a budget. You will be guided by a supervisor in achieving theoretical understanding and the skills expected of a researcher, including interpersonal, professional and scientific communication.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Theoretical knowledge: knowledge of areas such as research methodologies, ethics, and budgeting will enable you to discuss research methodologies, be an intelligent consumer of published research papers, and prepare a research proposal.

Technical skills: existing and new skills will be developed in searching published literature, the application of one or more research methods, carrying out a research project, and demonstrating self-direction and time management.

Critical analysis and problem solving: you will analyse published literature and identify knowledge gaps and areas of controversy, develop a research question and determine how to answer the question through the application of the appropriate research methods, analyse your findings, and demonstrate safe and ethical research conduct.

Communication and working in teams: your capabilities will be improved through activities such as communicating with your supervisor, the presentation of written and verbal reports to peers, and group work on research projects.

On completion of the course you should be able to:
1. Review and critically evaluate a body of peer-reviewed literature, and develop a research question.
2. Design a research project using a method appropriate to the question.
3. Prepare a research proposal to a high academic standard.
4. Discuss ethical issues associated with the research and prepare an ethics application.
5. Develop a research budget and time-line
6. Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the research context.
7. Demonstrate self-direction and effective time management skills.
8. Practise professional and interpersonal skills with a research supervisor.
9. Present and defend aspects of research using a range of communication strategies.

Overview of Learning Activities

Delivery of this program will be flexible and will include a mixture of face-to-face and self-learning modes and options. Opportunities for practice-based learning will be provided, as well as access to staff support, course advice and relevant physical learning resources.

Overview of Learning Resources

As an honours student you will be placed under the supervision of a staff member in the School of Health Sciences who will liaise closely with you and supervise the research component of your studies. You will learn the skills involved in conducting a research project by directly engaging in the research process, which will mimic the real-world process as closely as possible.

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through the Learning Hub (also known as online@RMIT) and the RMIT Library, 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

1. Research proposal.
2. Literature review and/or ethics application
3. Presentation of proposal to peers and staff.