Course Title: Integrated Policy and Research Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Integrated Policy and Research Project

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Rob Watts

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8247

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 48.4.19

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course is designed to bring together much of the research skills and theoretical policy knowledge students have gained from other courses and to provide them with a practical project of real relevance to both industry and the broader community. The process of formulating, implementing, evaluating and modifying public policy does not occur in a research vacuum. Public policy actors are moving to a more evidence-based policy change process and a student’s ability to understand the relationship between the use of research to identify policy change agendas, the use of research to provide evidence to inform change, and the use of research to evaluate the effectiveness of public policy is imperative. This course is designed to provide students with a real world opportunity to deepen their understanding of the relationship between policy and research, to give students the opportunity to complete a project similar to one they may be employed to complete in future and to further develop real industry links and awareness that may support them when they make the transition from University life to working in industry. Students will work on a specific project with an organisation (this partnership will be decided early in 2008).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In line with the program’s graduate capabilities such as, having effective problem solving abilities and having an understanding of key philosophical and methodological issues in qualitative and quantitative research approaches, this course provides a practical and relevant learning environment as it is working on site with an industry partner on a specific research project.

The aim of this course is to provide students with both a professional work experience, and also to build their confidence in their ability to work on similar projects in the future.

Specific objectives are, to:

  • build on previous studies and experiences to critically analyse the problem presented by the project
  • better understand how research and policy making are an integrated and co-dependent process
  • better understand the elements and operation of project management skills by undertaking actual field work and completing a project in a real policy/industry context
  • pursue a research problem through its various sequential phases – problem identification, issue definition, formulation of research question(s),
  • gain confidence in analysing data to provide policy advice

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn through a series of workshops.

Overview of Learning Resources

There will be a set text for this course.

Overview of Assessment

Various assessment tasks will be set.