Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

Research Paper

CVE80001   12.5 Credit Points
One Semester or equivalent
Contact hours
36 Hours


UG: CVE40008 or ENG40001
PG: 50 credit points including ICT80011 Research Methods


Aims and learning outcomes

This unit provides students with the opportunity to undertake a minor research investigation on any Civil or Construction Engineering related topic and prepare a research paper having potential to be published in peer-reviewed conferences or journals. 

Students who successfully complete this unit should be able to:

  1. Appreciate and apply the processes involved in conducting research
  2. Manage a minor project and complete the task satisfactorily considering available time and resources
  3. Appraise current literature and identify research gaps
  4. Discuss and interpret research findings through preparation of a written report and oral presentation

Unit information in detail

– Learning and teaching structures, content, assessment and general skill outcomes.

Learning and teaching structures*

ActivityTotal HoursHours per WeekTeaching Period Weeks
Lectures 12 Hours 1 to 2 hours Weeks 1 to 10
Consultation with the supervisor 12 Hours 1 to 2 hours Weeks 1 to 10 

* Other non-scheduled learning events and activities including independent study (approx. 130 hours)


  • Students may select a project from a list prepared by academic staff
  • Students are generally expected to conduct literature review critically to define and formulate research questions/ problems and to systematically develop and justify answers/ solutions/recommendations mainly based on the analysis of the existing literature/ data
  • Some topics may partially involve data collection, computer/ numerical modelling and/ or limited experiments depending on the nature of the topic
  • Projects are undertaken under supervision of staff members and total student time spent on the project is expected to be a minimum of 150-165 hours (including contact hours or online activities)
  • Students are required to contact academic staff for confirmation of supervision and research on convenor-approved topics.


Tasks and DetailsIndividual or GroupWeightingUnit Learning Outcomes that this assessment task relates to the topics 
Mid-term Oral Presentation (10 min.) Individual 5% 1, 2, 3, 4 
Final Project Report**Individual70% 1, 2, 3, 4 
Final Oral Presentation (20 min) Individual 25% 2, 4 


  • Students must retain all assessed materials that contribute to the final result up until such time as the final results are published.
  • The quality of research should be to the standard of a minimum of a conference paper.
  • The final report should be in the order of 5,000 words and is to be of a standard suitable for a Consultant’s report to a client, i.e., typed, bound (spiral or hard bound), indexed, referenced and with an abstract and conclusion.
  • The defence of thesis oral presentation must be rehearsed and presented using PowerPoint.
  • Online components of submissions must be submitted through Blackboard (Turnitin) assessment submission system.
  • For a research work of average quality, at least 20 reputable and relevant papers (per student) should be effectively referenced/included in the report, unless otherwise is required/ permitted by your supervisor depending on the nature of the topic.
  • Students must check for plagiarism before submitting the report and attach the Turnitin checking result report at the end of their hard copy submission.
  • The hard copy must be submitted to the supervisor in person.
  • Please ensure you keep a copy of all assessments that are submitted.
  • More details and updates regarding submission requirements may be posted onto Blackboard. It is students’ responsibility to check all announcements and posted onto Blackboard.

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 an aggregate mark of 50% or more.

General skill outcomes

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

  • Problem solving skills
  • Analysis skills
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to tackle unfamiliar problems, and
  • 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.