Course Title: Master's Minor Research Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Master's Minor Research Project

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Branko Ristic

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 2000

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.11.22

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The course constitutes a major experimental and/or analytical research project for the program and engages you in achieving the objectives of a research project in engineering. You will work on your project individually or in small groups; however, you will submit individual reports and be assessed on your individual project work. 

This course requires you to demonstrate in-depth technical and research skills, and professional and personal attributes at a level that is commensurate with advanced professional engineering practice. In this course, you will plan and manage your research project, conduct a critical review of relevant literature, undertake research work to a high standard of professional engineers and researchers, evaluate and report your research findings.

This is a work-integrated project done either in conjunction with industry or in a simulated engineering work environment. You will receive supervision from an internal RMIT supervisor and you may also have an external supervisor (such as an industry-based practitioner). As appropriate to the level of professionalism that is required in this course, you are expected to conduct the research with a high degree of independence and with limited guidance from your research project supervisor.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for the Master of Engineering:

4. Professional Practice

  • Initiate, plan, lead or manage engineering activities
  • Communicate in a variety of different ways to collaborate with other people, including accurate listening, reading and comprehension, based on dialogue when appropriate, taking into account the knowledge, expectations, requirements, interests, terminology and language of the intended audience
  • Display a personal sense of responsibility for your work
  • Demonstrate orderly management of self and professional conduct

5. Research

  • Plan and execute a substantial research-based project, with creativity and initiative in new situations in professional practice and with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability
  • Be aware of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline
  • Develop creative and innovative solutions to engineering challenges
  • Acknowledge (clearly) your own contributions and the contributions from others and distinguish contributions you may have made as a result of discussions or collaboration with other people

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

On completion of this course you should be able to:

1. Clearly define and identify the course and scope of a research project of relevance to the participant’s professional and management development, or to solve a particular     organisational or business problem.
2. Locate and critically review scientific literature and use this to inform the conduct and findings of a research project.
3. Apply sound engineering practices and research methods to undertake project work and evaluate project results
4. Plan and effectively manage an independent research project at an advanced professional level.
5. Critically analyse the research tools, methods, data, and theory applicable to the research project.
6. Demonstrate high order oral and written communication skills via communication of your findings to a professional audience.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities can include seminars, workshops, projects, directed research, self-directed learning, fieldwork and, online or face-to-face consultation.

You will undertake project work that will be either analytical, experimental, design, or computational in nature (or some combination of the above). Learning will take place primarily through independent project work, guided by your supervisor and supported by course notes.

The workshops and/or course coordinator-directed meetings will introduce you to project management providing opportunities to explore varied research areas, and associated approaches and tools. Research supervisors will provide project management support for the full investigatory process. Where specific technical advice is a requirement for the successful completion of the research project, you will be expected to take responsibility for obtaining such advice. This experience will enable you to demonstrate good professional practice with relation to initiating, planning, leading and managing projects. 

You will be required to propose a topic of your choice that will facilitate an investigative research on a topical issue related to your field of study. The research project must be framed in such a way to provide an original contribution to the knowledge base in this field.

You will: prepare a project brief (research proposal) identifying the key issues to be addressed, the research problem(s), a research methodology and conduct literature review on the selected topic; develop a research plan for the investigation in conjunction with the appointed supervisor; design and administer a research instrument (for example, a survey) to collect the required data; collect information/data and objectively analyse the information and present the research findings/results in a detailed project report; and prepare a PowerPoint presentation equivalent to 15 minutes delivery at Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Board level. These tasks will test your ability to solve problems of the appropriate standard while demonstrating the understanding of key research management concepts including Needs, Context and Systems; Problem Solving and Design; Analysis, Professional Practice and Research.

The elements of the teaching and learning process mentioned above will be complemented by formal and informal processes of consultation and other processes for feedback and review. You are expected to take responsibility for your own learning and time management with the support, advice and assistance from your research supervisor and the course coordinator.   

Overview of Learning Resources

Specific learning resources (e.g., texts, journal papers and analytical software) will be discussed with your project supervisor due to the individual nature of each project, however, general guidance can be found in:

  • Leedy, PD & Ormrod, JE (2012), Practical research: Planning and design, 10th edn,, Pearson Higher Education. 9780132899505

Other reference textbooks include:

  • Biggam, J (2011), Succeeding with your Master’s dissertation, 2nd edn, Open University Press.  9780335227204
  • Murray, R (2011), How to write a thesis, 3rd edn, McGraw Hill, New York. 9780335219681
  • Yin, RK (2014), Case study research: Design and methods, 5th edn, SAGE publication, London. 9781452242569

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment tasks

Early Assessment Task:
Research Project Proposal (2,500 words) to be submitted electronically via “myRMIT Studies Turnitin”.
Weighting: 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 and 2
Description: Definition and identification of research project scope and significance. 

Assessment Task 2:
Final Journal Paper (7,000 words) to be submitted electronically via “myRMIT Studies Turnitin”.
Weighting: 50%
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Description: Dissemination of research findings in the form of a journal manuscript.

Assessment Task 3:
A PowerPoint presentation, equivalent to delivery at Chief Executive Officer or Board level, summarising the research undertaken. 
Weighting: 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Description: Dissemination of research findings in the form of a presentation to a professional audience.