Course Title: Research Methods for Engineering & Related Disciplines

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Methods for Engineering & Related Disciplines

Credit Points: 12.00


Terms

Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

OENG1085

City Campus

Research

120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016

Flexible Terms

Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

OENG1085

City Campus

Research

172H School of Engineering

Face-to-Face

RSCHYr2017 ()

Course Coordinator: Professor Dinesh Kumar

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1954

Course Coordinator Email: dinesh.kumar@rmit.edu.au​


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

• The student should have a degree in Engineering or related disciplines.
• A body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent development in one or more disciplines.
• Knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to the field of work or learning.
 


Course Description

This course will enable higher degree by research candidates to plan and conduct advanced research in order to create new knowledge in the engineering field and related disciplines. In this course you will:
• Further develop their knowledge of the philosophy and practice of research in the field of engineering and related disciplines.
• Be exposed to a range of literatures pertinent to Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science fields.
• Deepen their understanding of the broad range of methods and techniques for research in the engineering and cognate fields and the processes for critically evaluating each method for the purposes of designing a research project.
• Refine their critical and creative thinking and communication skills to the high level required from professional researchers in these fields.
 


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

By the end of this course you will be able to:
• Critically evaluate a range of research methods and techniques and be able to create a convincing written rationale for selecting them.
• Craft research questions pertinent to the fields of engineering and related disciplines, based in an extensive knowledge of the relevant literature.
• Design a research project of appropriate scope for a higher degree by research candidature.
• Write a literature review which supports a research project and states clearly the project’s contribution to knowledge
 



Overview of Learning Activities

During this course you will take place in some, or all, of the following activities: lectures, tutorials, online exercises, symposia and workshops.

You will be introduced to a range of literature in this course and will be expected to read and find other material as necessary to complete the assignments.

This course will introduce you to a range of research methods commonly used in Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science fields. A range of questions will be used to frame the exploration of each method:

• What is this method? Who normally uses it and for what kinds of projects?
• What sort of data is collected using this method and how is it analysed?
• How is knowledge made using this method? What counts as ‘evidence’ and ‘rigour’?
In addition to introducing a range of methods we will spend time discussing and exploring how to:
• Plan and scope a research project and write a research proposal (including the ethical, OHS and IP issues in relation to your proposed project).
• Select the appropriate method(s) to use in your research project.
• Search and select literature(s) to support your research project.
• Frame appropriate research questions
• Understand ‘mixed methods’ approaches: their advantages and limitations.
• Use appropriate technology to support the collection and storage of research data and any relevant references.
 


Overview of Learning Resources

There is no one set text for this course. The course is made up of separate but research related topics. Each topic identifies the required reading resources. List of references will be provided by lecturers offering different topics of this course.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment of this subject will typically be in four parts:
1. A presentation explaining the work of one or more key researchers in their field, paying close attention to the methods employed by these researcher(s) and how they use method to create new knowledge.
2. An annotated bibliography, including papers (relevant to your topic) that use each of the methods showcased in the course. The text accompanying the papers should include: key findings of the research, description of the methods used to conduct the research, a critical evaluation of the employment of the method in relation to the stated aims of the study (i.e. was the appropriate method used? Are the knowledge claims valid?), limitations of the approach in relation to the findings.
3. A research plan which outlines the topic of the research the candidate intends to pursue in their thesis, the research questions that are being asked, the scope of the research, the expected deliverables, the method(s) that will be used as well (as a rationale for these methods), the timeframes and locations for collection of data and any limitations. This document will comprise at least 4000 words and form the bulk of the written material required for your first candidature milestone.
4. Participation in tutorial groups and/or online discussion forums.
 

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.
 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document here.