Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Research Methods

ICT80011   12.5 Credit Points
One Semester or equivalent
Contact hours
24 Hours


Entry into Master’s Program

Research units if any 

Aims and learning outcomes

The aim of this unit is to:

  • identify the basic principles of academic research and the fundamental concepts of research methodology
  • interpret and critically evaluate previously published work in a formal literature review
  • describe the characteristic features of common research methods and debate their relative merits
  • identify a research question (or project problem/objective) and justify the selection of an appropriate and ethically managed research method
  • produce a written research/project proposal/report/paper and effectively present information in an oral presentation

Students who successfully complete this unit should be able to:

  1. conduct research (or a project)
  2. write research/project proposals
  3. write research/technical reports and papers
  4. present research/project ideas

Unit information in detail

– Learning and teaching structures, content, assessment and key generic skills.

Learning and teaching structures*

ActivityTotal HoursHours per WeekTeaching Period Weeks
Lectures 24 Hours 2 to 4 hours Weeks 1 to 10 

Lectures and discussions: 4 hours per week for 6+ weeks in the teaching period (lecture notes etc. are available on Blackboard)

In a semester, you should normally expect to spend, on average, twelve and a half hours of total time (formal contact time plus independent study time) a week on a 12.5 credit point unit of study for the entire semester.


  • defining research
  • specifying roles of student and supervisor
  • developing a research/project question/problem/objective
  • presentation techniques
  • reviewing the literature
  • planning research/project design
  • ethics
  • writing a research/project proposal
  • critical thinking
  • qualitative and quantitative research methodologies
  • writing a research paper and/or a technical report with corresponding writing skills


Tasks and DetailsIndividual or GroupWeightingUnit Learning Outcomes that this assessment task relates to the topics 
Project problem oral presentation Individual 20% 1,4 
MCQ test Individual20% 1,2,3 
Final written projectIndividual 60% All 

Minimum requirements to pass this Unit

As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all Unit Learning Outcomes to a minimum standard, a student must achieve:

  1. an aggregate mark of 50% or more, and
  2. obtain at least 40% in the final exam

Students who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirement (ii) will receive a maximum of 44% as the total mark for the unit and will not be eligible for a conceded pass. 

Key generic skills

During this unit, students will receive feedback on the following key generic skills:

  • analysis skills
  • problem solving skills
  • communications skills
  • ability to tackle unfamiliar problems
  • ability to work independently

Study resources

– Resources and reference material.

Resources and reference material

Sufficient learning material will be given in the class and distributed via Blackboard.

Leedy, P. D. and Ormrod, J. E. (2013). Practical Research – Planning and Design, 11th ed., Prentice Hall