University of Technology Sydney

60205 Research Methods 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 2020 is available in the Archives.

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

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

This subject introduces students to the major themes of scientific research. The material is presented within the broad context of critical professional skills required for a successful career in any research-oriented field of science. In this subject students also develop the necessary skills to locate, understand, evaluate and write primary research articles specific to their chosen degree program. Additional topics covered in this subject include types of research methods, experimental design, and an introduction to statistical analysis. Students are encouraged to be self-motivated, work in a timely fashion and understand the importance of professional behaviour. The subject also provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their personal learning profile, identifying appropriate strategies to help develop their learning power.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject will provide you with the knowledge and skills to prepare for professional practice as a research scientist.

Graduate Attribute 2 – Inquiry Oriented Approach

You will develop skills in experimental design using an inquiry oriented approach that is intended to develop your curiosity and creativity. This will be further developed and explored in 60206 Research Methods 2 and throughout the research immersion activities in second and third year.

Graduate Attribute 3 - Professional skills and their appropriate application

You will learn to acquire, develop, employ and integrate a range of skills within a professional context, autonomously and collaboratively. This subject will help you to develop generic skills such time management, personal organisation, teamwork and negotiation. An awareness of the ethical space in which research scientists operate is also developed.

Graduate Attribute 4 - Ability and motivation for continued intellectual development

You will be provided with numerous opportunities to engage in reflection and develop the ability to make effective judgments about your own work and the work of others. You will be encouraged to undertake self directed, curiosity motivated learning beyond the formal classroom environment. Opportunities to reflect and act on feedback will be available throughout the semester including feedback on the draft research report and the ethics debate. This feedback will be used to refine the final research report and conference presentation.

Graduate Attribute 6 – Communication skills

Extensive development of your written and oral communication is achieved through a series of scaffolded and structured activities. You will be provided with extensive feedback on your written communication skills for the major projet report. Your oral communication skills will be developed during the workshops, the debate and the interview task.

Teaching and learning strategies

You will attend a series of workshops in this subject which are complemented by extensive online modules. The modules will introduce you to the key theoretical knowledge needed to actively participate in workshop discussions and group activities. This subject will involve a significant degree of independent learning activities, with assistance and feedback available at any time from your subject coordinator.

Opportunities to engage in self and peer assessment are provided using SPARKplus software. Feedback on your written work will be available using REVIEW (a software package).

A key activity in this subject will be the Advanced Science student research conference where you have the opportunity to present the results from your major research project. This will mark an important event where you will connect with the wider UTS Science research community.

Content (topics)

Specific topics to be presented throughout the semester will include:

  1. Introduction to Research Methods
  2. Research Methods in Practice
  3. Exploring the Scientific Literature
  4. Communication Skills
  5. Quantitative Skills
  6. Experimental Design
  7. Ethics

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Academic Interview

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

3. professional skills and their appropriate application

6. communication skills

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 6

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

.0 and .0

Weight: 15%
Criteria:

Students will be assessed on:

  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding of research methods used in science
  • Written communication skills

Assessment task 2: Experimental Design and Data Analysis

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

2. an inquiry-oriented approach

3. professional skills and their appropriate application

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

3, 4 and 8

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

.0 and .0

Weight: 25%
Criteria:

Students will be assessed on:

  • Ability to evaluate research data using basic statistical methods
  • Understanding of experimental design methods
  • Written communication skills

Assessment task 3: Ethics Case Study and Debate

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

3. professional skills and their appropriate application

4. ability and motivation for continued intellectual development

6. communication skills

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

5, 6 and 7

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

.0, .0 and .0

Weight: 30%
Criteria:

Students will be assessed on:

  • Their Reflection on the importance of ethics in science
  • Quality of written and oral communication skills to convey information to diverse audiences
  • Engagement with peer and self assessment

Assessment task 4: Major Research Project

Intent:

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

3. professional skills and their appropriate application

4. ability and motivation for continued intellectual development

6. communication skills

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 6 and 7

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

.0, .0 and .0

Weight: 30%
Criteria:

Students will be assessed on:

  • Ability to retrieve and analyse the primary scientific literature specific to their discipline
  • Quality of written and oral communication skills to convey information to diverse audiences
  • Engagement with peer and self assessment
  • Incorporation of feedback from the draft assessment

Minimum requirements

You are expected to attend all scheduled classes

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.

Required texts

All readings and materials will be made available to students. There is no specific textbook.