Course Title: Research Methods and Scientific Communication

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Methods and Scientific Communication

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Jonathan McQualter

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7275

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.2A.001B

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will learn scientific methodologies relevant for a future career in a variety of STEM-related careers. These include skills to identify and critically evaluate scientific literature.

Through workshops, seminars and supervisor guidance you will develop greater understanding and proficiency in the following research methods and communication skills:

  • Skills in conveying scientific knowledge through a combination of academic writing and oral presentation.
  • Critical evaluation of scientific literature and presentations across a variety of health and biomedical areas.
  • Ethics in health and biomedical research.
  • Occupational health and safety in health and biomedical research.
  • Research project data collection, processing and statistical analysis.
  • Time management and record-keeping for biomedical research.
  • Skills to identify scientific knowledge gaps and begin to develop research hypotheses related to your research project.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH058 Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours):

PLO1 Understanding Science:

  • Understand the scientific method and an ability to apply the scientific method in practice.

PLO2 Scientific knowledge

  • Acquire advanced knowledge in at least one specialised area of your chosen discipline.
  • Demonstrate integration of knowledge from across the disciplines contributing to biomedical science.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methodology appropriate to your discipline.

PLO3 Inquiry and problem solving

  • Gather, critically evaluate and synthesise information from a range of sources relevant
    to a scientific research topic.
  • Be able to concisely state research questions to define a biomedical science problem, and formulate hypotheses to design and plan a research project.
  • Be able to choose appropriate tools and methods to solve scientific problems within your area of specialisation.

PLO4 Communication

  • Ability to communicate scientific information and the results of your research project using oral, written and presentation skills using appropriate scientific language for the intended audience

PLO5 Personal and professional responsibility:

  • Demonstrate accountability for your own learning and professional conduct.

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

  1. Convey health and biomedical knowledge clearly, concisely and precisely via academic writing and oral presentation.
  2. Critically evaluate scientific literature and presentations across a variety of discipline areas.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of research training requirements for your research appropriate to your discipline.
  4. Identify, organise and integrate relevant health and biomedical knowledge into a coherent and logical evaluation.
  5. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of your field of research.
  6. Employ appropriate statistical design and analysis of experiments.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will participate in a series of workshops (including some pre-workshop activities) led by scientists or experts in each of the discipline areas. During the workshops you will discuss the topics and develop skills that will support your research project. Workshops will cover fundamental research and communication skills, including online reference search engines and databases, academic writing, science communication, statistics, and discipline-specific expertise. These workshops will equip you with the skills to critically review the scientific literature and perform a review of the literature related to your project topic. Discussion with supervisors will allow you to develop a comprehension of the significance of the literature in regard to your research project. Attendance and participation in the School Research seminar series will allow you to develop your broader understanding of health and biomedical research.

You will undertake 200-240 hours in intensive research experiences over the semester.

Overview of Learning Resources

Current scientific literature, supervisors and school academics, Honours program workshops, school research seminars, RMIT library resources and RMIT University and School of Health and Biomedical Sciences research laboratories and facilities will be used as required and as appropriate to your research project.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be based on individual performance in investigation, analysis, synthesis and reporting of health and biomedical information.

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Critical review of a research publication

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4

Assessment Task 2: Literature review

Weighting 40%

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

Assessment Task 3: Experimental design assignment

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 3, 4, & 6

Assessment Task 4: Project outline seminar

Weighting 20%

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