Research Methods

Unit code: NEF3202 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park
Online Real Time
Completion of 192 Credit Points.
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


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.

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.

Study as a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree.

Learn more about single units of study at VU


For Melbourne campuses

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

Required reading

Reading material will be negotiated in consultation with the supervisor and will be appropriate to the topic under investigation.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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