Course Title: Research Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Methods

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013

Course Coordinator: Dr Nhol Kao

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3257

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 7.2.08

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

The student should have a degree in Science or Engineering.

Course Description

This course will enable you to plan and conduct advanced research in order to create new knowledge in the engineering field and related disciplines. In this course you will:
• Further develop your knowledge of the philosophy and practice of research in the field of engineering and related disciplines.
• Be exposed to a range of literatures pertinent to Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science fields.
• Deepen your understanding of the broad range of methods and techniques for research in the engineering and cognate fields and the processes for critically evaluating each method for the purposes of designing a research project.
• Refine their critical and creative thinking and communication skills to the high level required from professional researchers in these fields.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Engineering employment requires the capacity to work effectively in teams, to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, and to learn effectively.  In order to prepare you for employment as graduates you will be provided with a quality assured teaching and learning environment which is conductive to the development of adult learning. Adult learning is characterised by you accepting responsibility for your own learning and by actively participating in the learning process as individuals and as contributors to teams. Adult learning is a hallmark of a professional.

The objective is to assist you to improve your critical ability to evaluate published work in your disciplines and to make objective judgements about the methodology and intentions of your own research project. It is the objective to help you develop some appreciation of research in general in a larger context than merely that of the pragmatics of carrying out a research project.
The other objectives are to develop your confidence in the collection and analysis of data and provide basic guidelines in the preparation of a concise thesis and in the publication of research findings.

Lecture delivery, assignments and assessment tasks in this course are designed to :
• improve fundamental knowledge of the administrative requirements of a higher degree
• develop skills, both in analysis and synthesis
• develop written and oral communication skills
• increase awareness of the service available to postgraduates
• improve ability to retrieve information.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities will include:
• Lectures
• Workshops
• Hands on demonstraton
• Poster presentation

These activities aim to encourage your participation in developing suitable questions and solution formulation. The poster presentation is aimed at your professional and personal development.

Overview of Learning Resources

There is no one set text for this course. The course is made up of separate but research related topics. Each topic identifies the required reading resources. List of references will be provided by lectures offering different topics of this course

Overview of Assessment

You will be required to participate in all the subject modules and secure a pass in all assignments. Individual assignments will be given in various modules. Each assignment should be completed, checked by your senior supervisor, and submitted to the lecturer incharge of the module. Assessment will result in satisfactory (PX) and unsatisfactory (N).