Course Title: Client Based Research (Environment)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Client Based Research (Environment)

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 1 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Professor Sarah Bekessy

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1858

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Floor 11

Course Coordinator Availability: Available by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge

This course is designed for you if you are in your final year of study with a background knowledge of environmental management, climate change, waste management, environmental policy, environmental assessment and sustainability issues more broadly. 

You will apply and extend your skills and experience in qualitative and quantitative research, project management, systems thinking, team work, critical thinking, oral communication and report writing.  


Course Description

This course provides you with the opportunity to apply research and analysis skills to the kind of problems identified by environmental agencies who are potential employers of RMIT graduates. It emphasises the processes, methods and skills needed for research work and gives particular attention to the experiences of team work. 

You will work in a group throughout the course and build on many of the topics and skills that you have been developing in other courses, for example the production of a research report for a client. 


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Apply a body of theoretical and practical knowledge of principles and practice of natural resource policy, sustainability, globalisation and environmental management to professional practice or further study; 
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on knowledge related to the social implications of environmental concerns and challenges both in Australia and globally; 
  • Apply logical, critical and creative thinking to effectively solve a range of problems associated with environmental management and associated policies and programs; 
  • Work effectively and productively with others in a range of roles in a variety of professional and social contexts; 
  • Communicate effectively using appropriate formats, media and styles to a range of audiences including other professionals, the public and government agencies and collaborate partnerships with others; 
  • Assist in the identification of needs, and the design, planning, resourcing and implementation of research and development projects in environmental and social sustainability; 
  • Reflect on the experience of personal and professional practice in international and cross-cultural settings and to act in professionalized settings responsibly, ethically and with integrity. 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Synthesise theoretical concepts with practical applications in the context of socio-environmental research problems;
  2. Apply the research skills you have been developing to social and socio-environmental problems, and organise and interpret relevant data;
  3. Develop findings and conclusions relevant to the clients’ social-environmental context, incorporating principles of policy-making where appropriate;
  4. Develop project management skills to a specific project;
  5. Work confidently in a team for a client requiring research results;
  6. Communicate professionally both orally and in written forms;
  7. Reflect on your learning in relation to research projects and team work. 

Overview of Learning Activities

Through a series of workshops you will build on your research skills and experiences to produce a research report. The topic for the research will be provided by an organisation outside your program, so that you will be acting as consultants for these clients. The research projects will be undertaken in small groups, so that you will all gain experience in group dynamics and teamwork.  

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with tools and resources for learning in this course through our online systems. 

A list of recommended learning resources will also be provided by the course coordinator.  

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

Assessment tasks: 

        1. A research proposal that responds to a brief provided by an external client (20%) 

        2. Production of a substantive research output for an external client (45%) and outline of key research findings (20%) 

        3. Reflection on the research process and Curiculim Vitae (15%) 

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 manager or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.