University of Technology Sydney

32931 Technology Research Methods

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 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Information Technology: Professional Practice and Leadership
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 32144 Technology Research Preparation OR 42670c Research Foundations OR 41079 Computing Science Studio 2
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 32572 Reflective Practice in Information Technology


This subject familiarises students with a range of skills and methods that are beneficial in carrying out research projects, with an emphasis on student-directed study. Students have the opportunity to study the advantages and limitations of different research approaches, as well as their applicability in different research contexts. They also have the opportunity to gain professional skills and advanced technical skills relevant to their research agenda, and in the critical evaluation of others' research work.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Identify and customise research methods appropriate to research objectives
2. Critique a range of different research approaches and articulate how these contribute to knowledge
3. Engage in individualised and customised research practices to write research proposal

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Socially Responsible: FEIT graduates identify, engage, and influence stakeholders, and apply expert judgment establishing and managing constraints, conflicts and uncertainties within a hazards and risk framework to define system requirements and interactivity. (B.1)
  • Design Oriented: FEIT graduates apply problem solving, design thinking and decision-making methodologies in new contexts or to novel problems, to explore, test, analyse and synthesise complex ideas, theories or concepts. (C.1)
  • Collaborative and Communicative: FEIT graduates work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams, communicating effectively and operating autonomously within cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural contexts in the workplace. (E.1)
  • Reflective: FEIT graduates critically self-review their own and others' performance with a high level of responsibility to improve and practice competently for the benefit of professional practice and society. (F.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

There will be an introductory online session which will include information on developing a learning plan for research students. The session will also include exploration of learning opportunities and how they are suited to particular types of research aims.

The remainder of the subject is an independent learning journey conducted in conjunction with your supervisor. You will define your goals, needs and strategies for meeting these. In some instances, your needs will be to enhance your existing research skills and in others, you will develop new skills. Together with your supervisor, you will identify appropriate reading, writing and viewing activities along with attending workshops and accessing online courses. The increasing development of your skills will assist you in writing and refining your research proposal.

Content (topics)

This subject includes a number of Modules delivered by different experts. Each Module focuses on a specific topic. All students will study the Research Proposal module, and then will work on a program of work taken from the range of other modules on offer, or by developing a self learning plan. Modules will include professional skills, research skills and also technical skills. Options will change, but include modules such as machine learning, simultaneous localization and mapping, statics, python, R, Matlab, data visualisation, lasers, qualitative skills, presentations skills and research publishing.

The Research Proposal: What is a research proposal and a thesis statement? How can you use different strategies and approaches to craft a concise set of research aims and objectives. This module will build on the dissertation skeleton begun in 32144 with a view to developing material suitable for the CA1 assessment.

Other specialist modules will be announced and explained in Week 1. They will be open for enrollments after the initial online session.


Assessment task 1: Individual plan and reflective portfolio


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1 and 2

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1, E.1 and F.1

Type: Portfolio
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

Assessment task 2: Research proposal


This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):


This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1, C.1 and E.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 50%

3000 - 5000 words

Minimum requirements

In order to pass the subject, a student must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more.


There is no single set text for the subject. For the different components of the TRM subject, references and readings will be provided as appropriate.

For the core Research Proposal module, the following is recommended as supplementary reading:

  • Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., Williams, J. M., Bizup, J., & Fitzgerald, W. T. (2016). The craft of research (4th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

For those who wish to have more detail on research methodology, the following provide introductions in a range of areas:

  • Burns, R. B. (1994). Introduction to research methods. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire. (esp. parts 1 and 3)
  • Creswell, J. (1994). Research design: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning in the research process. Sage.
  • Leedy, P., & Ormrod, J. (2000). Practical research: Planning and design (7th ed.). Prentice Hall.
  • Martella, R., Nelson, R., & Marchand-Martella, N. (1998). Research methods: Learning to become a critical research consumer. Allyn & Bacon.
  • Peterson, R. A. (2000). Constructing effective questionnaires. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Punch, K. F. (1998). Introduction to social research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. London: Sage.

A useful book on literature reviews is:

  • Hart, C. (2018). Doing a literature review: Releasing the research imagination (2nd ed.). London: Sage.