University of Technology Sydney

60204 Advanced Research Project 4

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 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks


Scientific research brings together the scientific method, knowledge, observations, and sound data in order to answer specific questions. This can lead to a deeper understanding of a research question or the development of novel solutions to problems. This suite of subjects are designed to enhance students' ability to develop professional research skills as they undertake a research project as part of a larger research endeavor within the Faculty of Science. The Advanced Research Project can only be conducted following prior negotiation on the part of the student with a member within the Faculty of Science regarding supervision and selection of a suitable research topic.

This subject is the last of four Advanced Research Projects within the Advanced Science degree. Students should approach potential supervisors in the first instance. Before enrolment can be approved, the student and supervisor must provide the Bachelor of Advanced Science Program Director with a short written project proposal and, if required, a completed project proposal, Risk Assessment form and relevant Biosafety approval.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

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

1. Develop and execute a project plan with your supervisor, within the field of your research area
2. Establish effective channels of communication with your supervisor(s) and colleagues
3. Apply knowledge and skills into professional scientific practice and gain new expertise
4. Utilise appropriate methods of critical analysis to analyse scientific data sets
5. Assess your current skills, abilities and problem solving strategies to discover how to learn through experience
6. Communicate the findings of your research through both written and oral communication, including the contribution of the research to the scientific field

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Analyse: Explain the basic applications of scientific disciplinary knowledge within context (1.2)
  • Analyse: Develop critical thinking skills including critiquing, interpreting and questioning scientific evidence (2.2)
  • Analyse: Use an appropriate range of techniques and mathematical and statistical approaches to investigate data and test hypotheses (3.2)
  • Apply: Develop tools and aptitudes that create flexible and adaptive approaches to learning within a discipline context (4.1)
  • Analyse: Source and reflect on multiple sources of information to develop innovative solutions to real world problems (4.2)
  • Apply: Demonstrate interpersonal communication skills with peer and professional colleagues (5.1)
  • Analyse: Identify and practice appropriate communication approaches using a variety of methods and media (5.2)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The Faculty of Science lists seven graduate attributes that you will develop during your course at UTS. This subject has the potential link to all UTS graduate attributes, however since each research project will be different, the specific tasks and roles of each student will be different and as such the depth of linkage to any attribute will differ.

Graduate attribute 1 - Disciplinary knowledge
An understanding of the nature, practice & application of the chosen science discipline will be instilled in students through their research projects. Student will deepen their understanding of their chosen field through the reading of scientific research articles and application of practical skills in the laboratory.

Graduate attribute 2 - Research, Inquiry and Critical thinking

Students will gain a thorough understanding of how the scientific method is used for the development of a research plan to invesitgate a topic of interest and in knowledge acquisition. This will encompass the development of a research plan, gathering of data and then utilisation of problem solving and critical thinking to analyse the data to gain a new understanding of their research question.

Graduate attribute 3 - Professional, ethical and social responsibility
Students will acquire, develop, employ, and integrate a range of technical, practical and professional skills, and apply them in a research project context, ensuring they work in appropriate and ethical ways, Students will develop their ability to work autonomously and collaboratively in a research lab, which will allow the development of numerous skills as a professional research scientist, including time management skills, personal organisation skills, teamwork skills, computing skills, laboratory skills, data handling, quantitative and graphical literacy skills).

Graduate attribute 4 - Reflection, Innovation, Creativity

Learning beyond formal educational contexts, that is based on the ability to make effective judgments about one’s own work. Students will have the opportunity to engage in self-reflection and self-assessment in order to improve research approaches throughout the project. In additional, students have the capacity to learn in, and from, new disciplines to enhance the application of scientific knowledge and skills in professional contexts.

Graduate attribute 5 - Communication

Students will further develop of the different forms of communication - writing, reading, speaking, listening - including visual and graphical, relevant to a career in science and scinetific communication. You will also learn how to appropriately communicate with other scientists and professionals within the industry, and communicate scientific data effectively for different audiences.

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is a project-based subject, therefore the learning will be experiential and hands-on within a research laboratory setting, with guidance provided by the project supervisor and their research team. Students will be actively involved in the planning of their project from the beginning of the teaching session and working collaboratively with the project supervisor and their research team. Students will develop skills as a professional research scientist which includes working collaboratively with other scientists towards research goals.

Students contribute to the formulation of the project, in close collaboration with their academic supervisor, including the planning of the work to be achieved within the appropriate time frame. Students are required to spend at least 6 hours a week in the laboratory working on their projects in order to obtain sufficient data to write up their scientific manuscript.

Students will receive regular formative feedback on their understanding of the project and their practical skills from their supervisor and research team in the laboratory. Students have the opportunity to seek feedback from their project supervisor on different aspects of the research project and prior to submitting the assessment tasks. Detailed feedback will also be given on all assessment tasks via REVIEW.


This subject has no program per se as each student works out a research project with their chosen supervisor individually across the entire semester.

Content (topics)

As each project will be different, specific details as to what you will learn and how you can apply them in a research context cannot be specified. However, you will learn broadly the following topics:

  • The development, enhancement and application of professional scientific skills in the area of your chosen discipline
  • Aptitude and knowledge in generic skills associated with successful management of a scientific project
  • Critical analysis of scientific data sets
  • Scientific communication to a wide variety of audiences
  • The skills of reflection, self-assessment and the ability to learn independently


Assessment task 1: Scientific Report


This assessment task addresses the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary knowledge

2. Research, Inquiry and Critical thinking

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility

4. Reflection, Innovation, Creativity

5. Communication


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.2, 2.2, 3.2, 4.2, 5.1 and 5.2

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 70%

Students will be assessed on:

  • The language, data analysis, figures/tables, layout, referencing, scientific content, and interpretation of results obtained from their research project
  • Ability to communicate effectively to a scientific literate audience
  • Ability to self-reflect on their work

Assessment task 2: Seminar Presentation


This assessment task addresses the following graduate attributes:

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility

4. Reflection, Innovation, Creativity

5. Communication


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

3, 4 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

3.2, 4.1 and 5.1

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%

Students will be assessed on:

  • The delivery, scientific content, interpretation of results, and responses to questions from the audience
  • Ability of effectively communicate orally to a scientific literate public
  • Engagement with the audience through the answering of questions

Minimum requirements

Any assessment task worth 40% or more requires the student to gain at least 40% of the mark for that task. If 40% is not reached, an X grade fail may be awarded for the subject, irrespective of an overall mark greater than 50. You must obtain an overall mark of 50 or greater to pass the subject.