Course Title: Undertake research and analysis

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: MATH5332C

Course Title: Undertake research and analysis

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6102 - Advanced Diploma of Business (Public Relations)

Course Contact : Sally Parrott

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5175

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Fiona McQueen

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit covers research and analysis to develop advice and recommendations. It includes identifying and undertaking research, analysing information and applying the results of analysis, maintaining information systems, and compiling reports from information. In practice, undertaking research and analysis may overlap with other generalist or specialist public sector work activities such as acting ethically, complying with legislation, providing client service, developing policy, preparing for community engagement, initiating projects, developing procedures for service delivery, undertaking scientific research, detecting fraud, identifying contaminated sites, assessing security risks, undertaking court listing activities, determining liability, etc.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PSPGOV504B Undertake research and analysis


1. Identify and undertake research

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Information needs are defined based on work objectives and client and organisation requirements.
1.2 Potential sources of information and the format in which they are presented are evaluated and selected in line with the purpose and audience for the research.
1.3 Strategies are developed to acquire required information in accordance with legislation, policy and procedures.
1.4 Information is researched in a timely and thorough way and within resource allocation.
1.5 Quantity, quality and relevance of initial search results are assessed and gaps filled via research strategies.
1.6 The methods and outcomes of research, and the criteria used to make information decisions and choices are clearly communicated.


2. Analyse information and apply the results of analysis

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Information from various sources is examined, compared and evaluated for content, structure and logic.
2.2 Analytical techniques and processes are selected in line with defined objectives.
2.3 Information is collated, consolidated and analysed and outcomes are advised to senior staff in accordance with organisational policy and procedures.
2.4 Facts, issues, patterns, interrelationships and trends identified through analysis in accordance with research aims.
2.5 Agreed project timelines are met, and the defined standards of the organisation are met for all work.


3. Maintain information systems

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Information systems are maintained, validated and reconciled so that data and system integrity are assured.
3.2 A range of standard and complex information systems and applications is maintained in accordance with organisation standards.
3.3 Information systems are reviewed and updated as necessary


4. Compile reports from information systems

Performance Criteria:

4.1 The findings from analysing information are used to meet client/organisational needs and organisation standards.
4.2 Content of reports is determined and organised in a manner that supports the purposes and format of the organisation and audience.
4.3 Reporting of results are sequenced logically, are concise and clear, and include predictions, assumptions and constraints where relevant.

Learning Outcomes

This unit covers research and analysis to develop advice and recommendations. It includes identifying and undertaking research, analysing information and applying the results of analysis, maintaining information systems, and compiling reports from information.

Details of Learning Activities

This course is structured to provide students with the optimum learning experience. Students will participate in a combination of group and individual learning activities. These activities will be provided through a combination of face to face teacher/student deliveries plus classroom work time. Additional learning activities will also be provided to students to complete outside of timetabled time.

Teaching Schedule

Week 1
Course Induction
Introduction to the course including:
• Course requirements
• Course support documents
• Course Blackboard access
• Accuracy of enrolment
• Assessment requirements/Cover Sheets
• Reminder re Plagiarism
• Reminder re Appeals
• Extensions/Resubmissions
• Feedback in this course
• Reminder re submission requirements
• Getting help

Weeek 2
Introduction to research
Public relations and research

Week 3
Models for PR Research

Week 4
Sources of research

Week 5 
Research concepts - setting objectives

Week 6
Reporting design & delivery
Presentation methods for communication research results

Week 7
Presentation methods for communicating research results

Week 8 
Market trends and research intiatives
Research and Analysis reporting

2 - 8 April - Easter break

Week 9
Survey Development
Research case studies

Week 10
Literature Review
Utilising research in PR strategy

Week 11
Writing final Report
Measurement of research

Week 12
Research and behaviour change

Week 13
Communication strategies and research

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Week 17
Final week – no classes


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Students must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of a particular competency to be deemed competent. Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of each competency in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks.

Assessment will incorporate a variety of methods including assignments, journals, presentation and written or test. Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1 – Research Submission

Due: end week six – Sunday 22 March midnight
Individual assessment – 1500 words

Students will work individually or in pairs to identify a research project and provide detailed background to support the research that will be conducted for the final report (assessment three – consistent pairs).

The proposal will be structured in key stages:

1) Introduction
• Title of the research
• Clear description of the research topic

2) Background
• A brief history of the situation
• A description of the current situation

3) Problem/ Opportunity
• What is the problem /opportunity?
• The relationship between the research and the communication aspect of the messages
• Indication of information to be collected

4) Research questions
• Three questions which the research will be based on

5) Target audience
• Primary
• Secondary
6) Research Objectives
• A restatement in research terms of what needs to be known to make a decision.
• Include two objectives.

7) Project Plan
• Time schedule
8) Hypothesis
• Make an assumption regarding the market you are researching. This will be your theory about what is happening and why.

This assessment is worth 30% of the final mark.

Assessment 2 – Individual Reflection and teacher meetings (2)
Due: end week 10 – Sunday April 26 midnight
Individual – 1000 words.

This assessment is designed to evaluate students ability to critically reflect on their personal learning experiences and their ability to succinctly articulate these as well as their ability to actively participate in teams (pairs) to successfully work through issues and create quality material.

Students will write a minimum of five 200 word journal entries discussing:
• Key learnings from subject
• Skills being developed in subject
• Classroom actitivies and case study
• Progress of the team (pair)
• Log of issues pair has discovered

This assessment is worth 20% of the final mark.

Assessment 3 – Research, analysis and production of final Report
Due: end week 14 – Sunday 24 May midnight
• Individual or in pairs (same as assessment 1)
• Research report (4000 words total – excluding survey responses)

Research & Analysis Report
Students (research group) will conduct research in response to their research brief. This will include:
• Secondary data collection;
• Primary data collection;
• An analysis of the research findings;
• Interpreting research findings into recommendations;
• Identifying areas where further research may be required or which could support the ongoing management of the communication / public relations program.

This report must contain the following:
1 Executive Summary
• No more than one page.
• Will summarise the whole report (research objectives, major findings, conclusions and recommendations)

2 Table of contents
• include tables and graphs in TOC

3 Background Section
• No more than half a page
• Briefly describes the background to the report such as the problem (background and statement of the problem)

4 Methodology
• The type of data collected, e.g. Qualitative and/or Quantitative.
• The Sample Used (include sample size)
• The Data Collection Method
• The Analysis Approach, e.g. Cross Tabulation, Conjoint Analysis.

5 Literature Review
• Research words which were scrutinised
• Explanation of how each piece is similar or varies from the others
• Conclusions as to which pieces are convincing of their arguments and make the greatest contribution.

6 Main Body of Analysis
• You will provide descriptive statistics including frequency tables and charts for each question. You will also include cross tabulations, perceptual maps and/or attribute lists.
• A brief summary of your critical interpretation (not mere description) will accompany each table and/or diagram
• Limitations to the report

7 Your Conclusions and recommendations
• You need to critically analyse as to what the results of your analysis are actually saying. This infers transferring findings from the body of your report to support your conclusions.

8 Bibliography

Please also include an Appendices section - include here questionnaires and forms used.

This assessment is worth 50% of the final mark.

You are required to complete three tasks.  You must successfully complete allthree tasks to be deemed competent in this course. 

Group/pair Submissions
Each student must individually submit each piece of work in a group/pair assessment submission.
Generally, all students in a group/pair will receive the same mark. However, if it has become obvious during the semester that individual students are not contributing equally to group/pair assessment submissions the teacher has the option to mark each member of a group/pair individually.

Submission Requirements

You should:
* Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date.
• Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy)
• When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of each assessment task is available on blackboard.
• Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Julie Macpherson, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.

Late Submission Procedures
You are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.
If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.
More Information: 

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration. Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination.   More Information:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Resubmissions (VET Programs):
If you are found to be unsuccessful in a Course Assessment Task you will be allowed one resubmission only.
Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission.
The highest grade you will receive if your resubmission is successful is “CAG”.
If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.
Adjustments to Assessment

In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:;ID=7usdbki1fjf31
You must demonstrate you are competent in each element of the unit of competency you are studying. 
You will receive feedback oneach assessment task that will inform you about your progress and how well you are performing.

Marking Guide (Grading)

After achieving competency, we then grade your performance in the unit and you will achieve one of the following grades. 

Final grades: 

CHD – Competent with High Distinction
CDI – Competent with Distinction
CC – Competent with Credit
CAG – Competency Achieved – Graded

Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria willbe provided by your teacher. 

Assessment Matrix

Assessment Matrix details will be distributed with your Assessment Task Feedback sheets for each assessment.

Assessment Mapping can be obtained from the teacher.

Other Information


Course Overview: Access Course Overview