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16262 Honours Research 1

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: School of the Built Environment
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 16259c Honours Research 2
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This is the first of four subjects in the Bachelor of Property Economics (Honours) (C09063). Over these four subjects, students work with a research supervisor to design, carry out, and report on a research project. There is significant variation possible in how the research can be designed, carried out, and reported on, ranging from qualitative analysis, written up in a conventional thesis, highly quantitative analysis of secondary data, to spatial analysis, with a primarily online reporting method. Task structure varies from project to project and is determined between the supervisor and student, based on the research aims.

This subject is delivered through individual meetings between student and supervisor. As the first of a four-subject honours sequence, this subject focuses on taking students through the process of choosing a topic area, developing a specific set of research questions, and completing a literature review to set the groundwork for investigating the research questions. Student work establishes a rationale for research and develops aims and objectives based on research questions. Student work also demonstrates library search skills, an understanding of how to structure a literature review, and how to develop an endnote library of sources. The subject thus develops key academic research skills; these skills (defining research questions, and reviewing and critically engaging with previous research on a topic) are also valuable in research activities undertaken by private firms and government agencies.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Select an appropriate research topic for specific and emerging problems in the built environment
2. Understand how to pose and frame research questions, aims and objectives
3. Search for relevant literature and sources of information
4. Write a critical review of the selected literature

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Effectively apply a variety of communication skills and technologies at an advanced level in professional contexts (C.1)
  • Engage in an advanced level of critical and reflective thinking in built environment contexts (R.1)
  • Analyse, structure and report the results of research (Research Skills) (R.3)
  • Demonstrate judgement in critical analysis of research (R.4)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

As an individually supervised research training subject, this subject contributes primarily to Graduate Attributes related to Research and Communication skills. Depending on the topic selected, the subject may contribute to developing specific Graduate Attributes related to Attitudes and Values, Innovation and Creativity, and / or Professional skills.

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is delivered through meetings between individual student and supervisor. Pre-reading will be required, to ensure students have a clear understanding of the goals of a literature review. Pre-reading materials will be posted on UTS Online. Most other reading (the literature students will review) will be identified through library and database searches. The subject is structured around a flipped model of learning. Students will typically prepare work (as agreed with the supervisor) in advance of each meeting, and the supervisor will offer in-depth feedback on the work at the subsequent meeting. The student has substantial responsibility for the pace at which the work proceeds; responding to verbal and written feedback from the supervisor is an important part of the student-centred learning process. The subject involves significant self-directed learning, as the student is responsible for identifying relevant literature, and mastering it. Formative feedback will be provided by the supervisor at each meeting (it is the student's responsibility to record this feedback), with the aim of developing an iterative process, improving the scope and quality of the student's work. Feedback on assignments will be provided either in Review, or in Turnitin.

Content (topics)

  • choosing a topic area
  • establishing a rationale for research
  • developing a specific set of research questions,
  • structuring a literature review
  • completing a literature review
  • library search skills,
  • how to develop an endnote library of sources.


Assessment task 1: Research topic, aims, and questions


This assignment asks you to clearly structure a research problem, an important skill for any researcher. This is the first step in writing your thesis; this assignment develops the problem statement that you will address in your subject Honours subjects.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1 and 2

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

R.1 and R.3

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

1000 words (unless agreed otherwise with your supervisor)

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Significance of research problem is clear 50 1 R.1
research questions are clearly stated 50 2 R.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Literature Review


In this assignment you will identify the key literature relevant to your research problem, and discuss it critically based on your close reading. The literature review helps you ensure that the research you are proposing to do does not repeat or duplicate someone else's research, and it also helps you identify the gaps in what we know, so that you can ensure your research tells us something new.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3 and 4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.1, R.1, R.3 and R.4

Type: Literature review
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 60%

5000 words (excluding references), unless agreed otherwise with your supervisor

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Research questions justified by gap in literature 20 2 R.3
Relevance of literature is clearly explained 30 3 R.4
Review of literature demonstrates a high level of critical engagement 30 4 R.1
Review is clearly written 20 4 C.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Required texts

Farrell, P (2011) Writing a Built Environment Dissertation. Practical guidance and examples. Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex UK. ISBN 978-1-4051-9851-6.

Recommended texts

I recommend any edition of Linda Flower's Problem solving Strategies for writing, Harcourt, NY