Course Title: Science Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Science Project

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


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


City Campus


171H School of Science


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

Course Coordinator: Prof James Macnae

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3401

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 14.06.9B

Course Coordinator Availability: By email appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This is a capstone course for Applied Science degrees. You are expected to be in the final year of your program. The pre-requisite capabilities are those from core courses undertaken in the preceding years of your program stream, or evidence of equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

This is a final-year capstone unit that gives you an opportunity to engage in scientific research, while extending your knowledge and practical skills in a particular area of interest. You will undertake a small research project under the supervision of an academic staff member.

Collaboration with an external organisation may occur in some projects.

With the assistance of your supervisor, you will define the problem to be studied, carry out a risk assessment, develop the appropriate experimental methods, carry out research on your project, and finally present a written report and a poster or oral presentation.

This unit offers a challenge to final-year students, and allows innovation by the student with respect to both method and research direction. You are required to make a presentation regarding your project to your peers. 

This course may include a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience in which your knowledge and skills are applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience.



Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This Course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

PLO-1 Understanding science
PLO-1.1 You will demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice. PLO-1.2 You will demonstrate an understanding of the role and relevance of science in society.
PLO-1.3 You will demonstrate an understanding of the role and importance of evidence in the continuous evolution of scientific knowledge.
PLO-1.4 You will demonstrate an understanding of the significance of your research project to your field of specialization and to society.

PLO-2 Scientific knowledge
PLO-2.2 You will have advanced knowledge in specialized areas of your chosen discipline.
PLO-2.3 You will demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methodology appropriate to your discipline.

PLO-3 Critical Inquiry and Problem Solving
PLO-3.1 You will be able to concisely state research questions, and use them to design and plan a research project.
PLO-3.2 You will be able to gather, critically review and synthesise information relevant to a scientific inquiry or research project. PLO-3.3 You will be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialization.
PLO-3.4 You will demonstrate well-developed problem solving skills, applying your knowledge and using your ability to think analytically and creatively. PLO-3.5 You will possess an ability to accurately record, analyse, interpret and critically evaluate your research findings.

 PLO-4 Communication
PLO-4.1 You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using effective oral, written and presentation skills.
PLO-4.2 You will be able to communicate the solution to a problem or the results of a scientific investigation using appropriate terminology for the intended audience.

PLO-5 Personal and professional responsibility
PLO-5.1 You will demonstrate accountability for your own learning and professional conduct. PLO-5.2 You will demonstrate initiative and independence.
PLO-5.3 You will work responsibly, safely and ethically.
PLO-5.4 You will develop an ability to work collaboratively.



On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Carry out a research project in a professional and scientific manner
  2. Plan and execute a discipline specific research project
  3. Demonstrate an in-depth, project specific, detailed knowledge of instrumentation, procedures and theories associated with the project.
  4. Communicate the results of a research project to a wide audience
  5. Complete a concise written report that conforms with accepted scientific practices.


Overview of Learning Activities

Despite the differences between individual projects, each aims to provide you with the opportunities to gain expertise in project design, management and reporting.

Any or all of the following learning activities are involved:

  • Completion of laboratory, library, field or industry project designed to give you further practice in the application of theory and procedures in your field 
  • Private study, working through the requirements of the project with the assistance of a supervisor, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems. 
  • Communication of the results of your project to an appropriate audience

You are expected to develop skills in: 

  • locating and synthesising information available in scientific (and in some cases other) literature in order to establish the need for, and potential scope and context of, the research project;
  • developing creative ways of solving unfamiliar problems by devising a methodological approach to address the research question being raised;
  • managing the time allocated to completing specific tasks;
  • collecting and analysing data (qualitative and/or quantitative) including an assessment of the validity of the research results; and
  • communicating the results in written form, requiring critical analysis, synthesis and organisation of knowledge, and the construction of a rational and lucid scientific argument.

Depending on the project, you may also find you learn other important skills such as how to work effectively in teams and how to take into consideration ethical issues associated with research.

Total Study Hours

60 hours per semester typically of face to face content and 117 hours private study however this will vary project to project.


Overview of Learning Resources

There is no recommended reading or prescribed texts. You are expected to access appropriate information via the RMIT library and the internet. Material may be provided by the project supervisor.

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment will be based on contract between the student and supervisor and will depend on the nature of the project and the discipline stream. Generally the assessment will comprise some literature assessment, some problem solving and some oral and written communication as defined by the discipline course coordinator and supervisor.


Assessment tasks due dates in this course are discipline specific

Assessment Task 1: Project brief describing project aims and methods with risk assessment

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 and 3

Note: Laboratory based projects may require a specific risk assessment that needs to approved (PASS/FAIL) prior to lab access.  This requirement is independent of the graded risk assessment in Task 1.

Assessment Task 2: Scientific Progress and Presentation

Weighting 40% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3 and 4

Assessment Task 3: Project Report

Project Report. Weighting 45%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5