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RSH8000 Introduction to Research

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Introduction to Research
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 099999 - Society and Culture not elsewh
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Melissa Johnson Morgan


This is an introductory course designed to help students develop the research skills required to competently undertake and complete PhD/Masters by Research level research projects. It will provide students with the training required to develop the skills to review and critically analyse extant theory (literature) on topics related to their research, justify the rationale for research, understand the role of theories in research, and learn to write research proposals. Students need to be able to relate specific research approaches to broader philosophical issues of existence, knowledge, ethics and values. They must be able to develop ethical, feasible and rigorous research questions and a literature review that will support their research program. An important first step in this process is to consider their own skills and learning styles and the management of the supervisory relationship.


This course provides an introduction to research for students undertaking postgraduate research studies who are working towards confirmation of candidature. The focus of the course is to prepare students for their program by establishing their learning approaches and suitable supervision practice, the fundamentals of research and the practical steps to confirmation of candidature. Students will learn about and engage with a number of research paradigms. Students will develop their skills in identifying research questions and devising a robust literature review. Research quality and ethics are emphasised throughout the course as students identify an appropriate theoretical framework to underpin their research proposal.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. recognise your preferred learning style and match this with appropriate learning strategies (Assignment 1);
  2. understand the role of supervision in higher degree research and identify the type of supervision required (Assignment 1);
  3. demonstrate understanding of the theoretical paradigms and perspectives underpinning different research approaches (Assignment 2 & 3);
  4. analyse critically the philosophical dimensions of a variety of research in relevant fields of interest (Assignment 2 & 3);
  5. apply critical analysis techniques to reviews of relevant literatures (Assignment 2 & 3);
  6. develop a high quality and rigorous literature review (Assignment 2);
  7. demonstrate appropriate research presentation and communication skills (Assignment 1, 2 & 3);
  8. understand the appropriate ethical principles that guide research (Assignment 2 & 3).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Learning styles and strategies and the role of supervision 10.00
2. Introduction to Research 10.00
3. Theoretical paradigms and perspectives 10.00
4. Theory and the critical review of literature 15.00
5. Writing a literature review 15.00
6. Research design and ethics 15.00
7. Identifying and evaluating research quality and rigour 15.00
8. Writing a research proposal 10.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 70.00
Directed Study 50.00
Private Study 50.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 10 10 29 Jul 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 35 35 12 Aug 2021
ASSIGNMENT 3 55 55 21 Oct 2021

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment Notes

  1. Students will be advised regarding the referencing style to be used to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The referencing styles used are defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Other Requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.

Date printed 8 November 2021