Course Title: Research Methods in Engineering

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Methods in Engineering

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information: Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 1 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 2 2022


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Dr Shadi Houshyar

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9191

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: .

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

You will develop skills to critically evaluate the literature, formulate research questions, compose a comprehensive literature review and develop research project plans/ proposals. This course introduces you to the general principles, methodologies and practices of data collection (both qualitative and quantitative) and analysis in research, intellectual property, research integrity and ethics. Furthermore, you will develop skills to design and effectively communicate information in an engineering context.

This is an online course.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

4. Professional Practice:

  • Initiate, plan, lead or manage industry activities.
  • Display a personal sense of responsibility for your work.

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.
  • Demonstrate professional use and management of information.
  • 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. Develop skills required to apply research terminology, critically assess published research and systematically manage information
  2. Evaluate and identify the types of methods best suited for investigating different types of problems and questions;
  3. Construct research questions that are based on and build upon a critical appraisal of existing research problems;
  4. Apply ethical obligations associated with conducting research;
  5. Design and effectively communicate information in an engineering.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities can include lectorials and classroom discussions and other activities as well as presentations from experts in the field. Students will be involved in individually guided activities possibly incorporating, for example, critical analyses of bodies of literature and project planning. 

Overview of Learning Resources

All lecture slides and exercises in the lectures are available from the RMIT Learning Management System. Multimedia files related to the topics will also be uploaded to the respective weekly folders. All lectures in this course will be recorded, unless the material presented is under copyright restrictions. 

A recommended Reading List will provided on the course Canvas page, along with case studies, example journal articles and references to websites (often in the lecture notes). A library tutorial will assist you with getting the most out of the material in the library.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment tasks:

Early Assessment Task: Brief Project Presentation 
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs  1, 2, & 5
Description:  Presentation of progress in reviewing the literature and identifying the research gaps

Assessment Task 2: Literature Review
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLO: 1, 2, 3 & 5
Description:  Critical analysis of the literature in a chosen field of study.

Assessment 3: Project Proposal
Weighting 40% 
This assessment supports CLOs:2, 3, 4 & 5
Description:  A research proposal based on your research gaps identified in the literature review.

A marking criteria rubric will be provided for each assessment on Canvas.