Course Title: Research Methods in Engineering

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Methods in Engineering

Credit Points: 12.00


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

Course Coordinator: Dr Nevena Todorova & Prof Mark Easton

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1065

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 57.06.020

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

You will develop skills to undertake a comprehensive literature review and develop research project plans. This course introduces you to the general principles, methodologies and practices of data collection (both qualitative and quantitative) and analysis in qualitative research, analytics, content analysis, design aspects and research ethics. Data analysis tools will be covered as well as understanding the validity and reliability of data. Furthermore, you will develop skills in communicating scientific findings including writing academic publications and presentations.        

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 tools and skills required to understand research terminology and assess published research;
2. Identify the types of methods best suited for investigating different types of problems and questions;
3. Develop research questions that are based on and build upon a critical appraisal of existing research;
4. Design a research proposal; and
5. Commence initial preparations for embarking on a new research project.

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 Powerpoint slides and exercises in the lectures and tests in previous semesters are available from the RMIT Learning Management System. Multimedia files related to the topics will also be uploaded to the respective weekly folders. Except guest lectures (due to copyright restrictions), all lectures in this course will be recorded on Blackboard Collaborate. 

Lists of the current text books and recommended reading will provided on the learning hub, 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

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:  Project Concept
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 1 & 4
Description:  An initial project concept proposal

Assessment Task 2:  Progress Presentation
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs  1 & 3
Description:  Presentation of progress in reviewing the literature and identifying the research gaps

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

Assessment 4: Project Proposal
Weighting 20% 
This assessment supports CLOs: 4 & 5
Description:  A research proposal based on your research gaps identified in the literature review.
Rubrics and/or marking criteria will be provided on Blackboard.  Feedback will also be provided in blackboard.