Course Title: Research Project A (Planning)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Project A (Planning)

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Greame Allinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3561

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 003.02.023

Course Coordinator Availability: By Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

It is assumed that if you are undertaking this course, you have appropriate background knowledge in scientific methodology and the area of your project, such as obtained from completion of a Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Engineering degree.    You are also assumed to have completed or be concurrently enrolled in a postgraduate Research Methods course such as Research Methods BIOL1070, Research Methods BIOL2149, or Research Methods for Sciences ONPS2489.

Course Description

You will be introduced to the process and activities associated with researching and designing a specific research project in your discipline area.    You will be required to plan a Masters research project, specifying the research questions, objectives, hypothesis, methods and analyses that you will undertake during the project.    You will conduct a literature review to gain the background knowledge to justify, design and conduct the research project. Your experimental design will also be informed by the published work of others in the field.   This course assists students to develop skills in research and scientific communication in the relevant discipline. Topics addressed include; design and performance of experiments, analysis and presentation of research data, and preparation of oral and written scientific reports that use these skills.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC215 Master of Medical Physics:    PLO-3 Knowledge of research principles and methods for the maintenance and expansion of your knowledge base and the advancement of capability in a professional environment.   PLO-4 Skills to investigate, analyse and interrogate scientific data to ensure quality control of complex technological systems and to diagnose causes of discrepancies.   PLO-5 Skills to identify problems, generate novel solutions and evaluate their effectiveness.   PLO-6 Communication and research skills to interpret Medical Physics issues and justify decisions for specialist and non-specialist audiences.   PLO-8 Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice in fields related to Medical and Health Physics   PLO-9 Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability.   PLO-10 Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills to plan and execute a substantial research-based project as a member of a collaborative team.

On completion of this course you should be able to:   1. Plan and organize a scientific research project 2. Search databases and find appropriate scientific literature, critically evaluate scientific literature and write a literature review 3. Develop testable hypotheses 4. Design plans to test the hypotheses 5. Analyse and report data in a professional manner 6. Adhere to responsible laboratory or field practice regarding data collection and recording, and laboratory/field safety 7. Demonstrate time and project management in the successful identification of a research project, development of an experimental design, collection of accurate and precise data, critical analysis and interpretation of results, retrieval of information, and critical reading of scientific literature

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn in this course by:   • Participating in regular meetings with your research supervisors and other members of the discipline or project team; • Discussing project objectives and their significance in the wider context to refine your research questions; • Keeping meeting notes and minutes, and reviewing notes taken during meetings to ensure progress and expectations are met; • Reviewing pertinent literature including scientific papers, theses and textbooks, and providing summary reviews to your research group.  • Negotiating a research topic in consultation with a research supervisor • Preparing a project outline that includes project aims, objectives, an indicative summary of methodology, and potential outcomes • Undertaking a literature review related to the topic, including preparing a reference list • Planning for, and performing project work under the guidance of a supervisor   Your designated supervisor, assisted as necessary by other members of staff, will guide you in your planning and execution of your research work. You will develop a sense of responsibility for your own learning and have the skills to teach yourself. This includes being able to access and use a variety of learning materials and resources.

Overview of Learning Resources

There are no prescribed text or recommended books for this course. Students should obtain material appropriate to their individual topic by discussion with their supervisors and by searching appropriate data bases e.g. Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Current Contents, PubMed etc.

Overview of Assessment

Note that: This course has no hurdle requirements.   Assessment for the course will be based on a submitted literature review and a detailed project plan. If you are continuing with the Masters project, Project Planning will form a component of the assessment for the Masters research project. The literature review will form a component of the submitted thesis. The Project Plan will also form a substantial body of content for the thesis.   Assessment Task 1: Research Proposal  Weighting 30% This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, & 4    Assessment Task 2: Project Plan and Literature Review Weighting 40% This assessment task supports CLOs 4, 5, 6, & 7    Assessment Task 3: Progress Report including Supervisor’s assessment Weighting 30% This assessment task supports CLOs 1 - 7