Course Title: Research Project 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Project 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Graeme Allinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3561

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.23

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Completion of one year of the Master of Biotechnology. 
completion of the Graduate Diploma Occupational Health & Safety, or equivalent
Completion of one year of the Master of Environmental Science and Technology

Master of Biotechnology students must enrol in both Research Project 1 (BIOL2230) and Research Project 2 (BIOL2231); this may be in the same semester or in consecutive semesters and in any order. Students must also enrol in Research Methods (BIOL1070) in their first semester of research.

Master of Occupational Health and Safety students must enrol in BIOL2230 first; progression to BIOL2231 is dependent of successful completion of BIOL2230. Students enrolled in the Master of Occupational Health and Safety must enrol in Research Methods (BIOL1070) at the commencement of the research project.

MAppSc (Food Science and Technology) students must enrol in BIOL2230 (or BIOL2327) first. Progression to BIOL2231 (or BIOL2328) is dependent on successful completion of BIOL2230.

Master of Environmental Science and Technology students must enrol first in BIOL2230 (or BIOL2327). Progression to BIOL2231 (or BIOL2328) is dependent upon successful completion of BIOL2230 (or BIOL2327). Students must also enrol in BIOL1070 Research Methods in their first semester of research unless they have completed that course in the first year of their program.

Course Description

This course has a vocational focus. It assists students to develop skills in research and scientific communication in the relevant discipline. Topics addressed include design and performance of experiments or action research, analysis and presentation of research data, and preparation of oral and written scientific reports that use these skills.

The aim of the course is to prepare students to apply research focused on one of the following:
• Biotechnology and/or manufacture biological products
• Occupational Health & Safety research, risk management and OHS consulting in any organisation / industry
• Environmental research


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes at AQF Level 9:

  • Knowledge and application of research methods appropriate to the field of study
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Application of knowledge and skills to plan and execute a substantial research project
  • Communication skills to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and decisions to technical and non technical audiences
  • Application of skills and knowledge with personal autonomy and accountability

This course is particularly important in the development of graduate attributes related to innovation, work readiness, global outlook, environmental awareness, social awareness and life long learning. 


1. Conduct an independent research project under supervision

2. Adhere to responsible laboratory or field practice regarding data collection and recording, and laboratory/field safety

3. Demonstrate time and project management in the successful identification of a research project, development of an experimental design, collection of accurate and precise data, critical analysis and interpretation of results, retrieval of information, and critical reading of scientific literature

4. Prepare a minor thesis (draft, edit, format, check for errors), and understand confidentiality issues regarding medical sciences, biological sciences, OHS, and/or environmental research

5. Present a seminar on the results of a research project.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities may include any or all of the following:

  • Negotiating a research topic in consultation with a research supervisor
  • Preparing a project outline that includes project aims, objectives, an indicative summary of methodology, and potential outcomes
  • Undertaking a literature review related to the topic, including preparing a reference list
  • Planning for, and performing project work under the guidance of a supervisor
  • Participating in supervisory meetings and attending departmental seminars
  • Writing and editing a thesis in consultation with a supervisor
  • Preparing and presenting a seminar on the research project

Overview of Learning Resources

There are no prescribed text or recommended books for this course. Students should obtain material appropriate to their individual topic by discussion with their supervisors and by searching appropriate data bases e.g. Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Current Contents, PubMed etc.

Overview of Assessment

All students:  The thesis forms the major part of the assessment for this course. Assessment is also based on presentation of a seminar on the results of the research project so far.

Masters of Applied Science (OHS):  the expected outcome from this course would be the development of the introduction, research question, literature review and methodology portions of the thesis. Grading is Pass/Fail, and candidates need to obtain a Pass in this subject prior to completion of the thesis in BIOL2231. The grade for BIOL2231 will be the grade for BIOL2230.

 Masters of Environmental Science and Technology (EST): the assessment in research project 1 includes the development, drafting and submission of a Preliminary Thesis. Typically this document will include the first 4 sections of the Final Thesis, i.e. 1. Introduction (a summary overview of the research project leading to research questions and the project’s aims, objectives and outcomes); 2. Literature review (description the background and published information that supports the chosen research question); 3. Laboratory experimental/fieldwork methodology; and 4. Bibliography (list of references cited in the text). The assessment will also include a 5-7 min presentation on progress with the research project at the end of the semester after submission of the preliminary thesis.