Course Title: Research Proposal and Ethics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Proposal and Ethics

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr Sarah Spencer

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7745

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no pre requisite requirements associated with your enrolment in this course.
Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. For further information go to:

Course Description

The Research Proposal and Ethics course requires you to develop a research proposal and ethics submission as the beginning of your research project into healthcare/community care. This project will subsequently be undertaken and the written work submitted for the Research Dissertation course COTH2164. Components of Research Proposal and Ethics include the development of a research question, a proposal, an ethics application and a budget. You will be guided by a supervisor in achieving the theoretical understanding and the skills expected of a researcher, including interpersonal, professional and scientific communication.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes
At the conclusion of this course you should be able to:

  • design a research project using a research method appropriate to the developed research question.
  • prepare a research proposal to a high academic and research standard.
  • discuss the ethical issues associated with the research and prepare an ethics application.
  • critically evaluate a body of scientific literature within your chosen field.
  • develop a realistic research budget and time-line.
  • apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the research context.
  • demonstrate professional and interpersonal skills with your research supervisor and the research community.
  • present and defend aspects of research using a range of communication strategies

Program Learning Outcomes
This course contributes to the development of the Program Learning Outcomes in the following way:

  • PLO1: demonstrate coherent and advanced knowledge within the discipline related to the context of research principles and  methods
  • PLO2: communicate knowledge and ideas to a wide audience with clarity and coherence
  • PLO3: apply critical thinking and judgement to new ideas and technical skills in research design
  • PLO6: demonstrate responsibility and accountability for learning and the ability to practice independently and within a team

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities include a mixture of online lectures, face-to-face workshops, and self-directed learning. You will meet with your thesis supervisor regularly to design and develop your research project and to work through the issues if your ethics submission. Learning experiences will foster the development of the Program Learning Outcomes associated with this course. Learning experiences will also provide the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge associated with the research process, and the research method selected.  You will receive feedback related to your research project and ethics application.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. Material to be chosen may be digitally available to you. Lecture material may be available via Lectopia and Discussion Board interaction. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment associated with this course will comprise a formative and summative assessment and incorporate a variety of assessment modes that support the development of your research expertise. You will be required to select and work with your thesis supervisor to develop your research proposal and your application to the relevant RMIT ethics committee.  Your summative assessment will also require you to present and defend your research proposal to your peers and Health Sciences staff.

For information on grades used in RMIT courses see:

Assessment completed in the first half of the semester will provide feedback on your progress. Ongoing feedback on your skills will be provided from peers and staff.

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.

This course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced, at: