Effective implementation and management of successful engineering projects, building design and construction process requires extensive evidence-based research. While evidence can be extracted from the disciplinary literature, existing databases or previous project experience, original research may also be undertaken to meet the requirements of a specific project. Research is a process of enquiry and investigation, and takes a systematic and methodical approach to the creation of knowledge-as-evidence. Ineffective decision making can occur when a lack of knowledge leads to project delay and failure. Research Methods guides participants through the logical steps required for the establishment of a research proposal for a professional project or further scholarship. Starting with an overview of the purpose of research, it develops a set of principles designed to build a research proposal based on conceptual issues and different approaches to research design. The collection and review of primary and secondary data, the application of qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies, the collection and interrogation of data, reporting of results and conclusion are all considered.

Unit details

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Completion of 192 Credit Points.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Articulate and elaborate the principles involved in planning and executing a research project;  
  2. Propose a conceptual framework for a research problem and assess it in the context of engineering, building design and/or construction;  
  3. Formulate a research question(s) or a hypothesis;  
  4. Select and develop the appropriate methodology and measurement instruments for data collection;  
  5. Critically analyse sources of information and justify the selection and application of methods for data collection and analysis.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Research Brief (1 page) 10%
Project Capstone Project Outline (400 words) (hurdle) 0%
Report Part A (30%), Part B (40%) 70%
Presentation Final Formal Research Presentation 20%

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