Course Outline

ENG304 Engineering Research Methodology

Course Coordinator:William Clarke ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2024Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Problem solving skills are essential requirements for engineers. When complex theoretical and technical problems are solved, new knowledge is created. In this course you learn how to apply the engineering research process and methods of inquiry to solve these problems. This involves critiquing current research in your discipline and developing competence in using instruments and software to collect data. You analyse and evaluate the results and judge their quality and limitations. You also learn how to communicate findings in specific engineering formats to specialist audiences.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous learning materials 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Seminar – Guest speakers will be invited to present to the students in weeks 1, 6 and 12. 1hr Week 1 3 times

Course Topics

  • Literature search,
  • Review and citation practices
  • Problem identification, formulating research questions
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods – strengths and weaknesses
  • Instrumentation and data logging
  • Data sampling, collection, testing
  • Data analysis, interpretation and limitations
  • Validity, reliability, sources of error
  • Data management and presentation

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Engineers Australia Stage 1 Professional Engineer Competency Standards
1 Apply current knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods used in engineering research. Empowered
2 Analyse, interpret and evaluate data that relate to complex theoretical and technical engineering problems. Creative and critical thinker
3 Communicate complex research results to specialist audiences. Engaged
3.3, 3.4
4 Act professionally, autonomously and in teams to produce a professional product. Ethical
3.5, 3.6

* Competencies by Professional Body

Engineers Australia Stage 1 Professional Engineer Competency Standards
1.4 Knowledge and Skill Base: Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
2.1 Engineering Application Ability: Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
3.3 Professional and Personal Attributes: Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
3.4 Professional and Personal Attributes: Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Professional and Personal Attributes: Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
3.6 Professional and Personal Attributes: Effective team membership and team leadership.

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


192 units and enrolled in Program SC404, SC405, SC410, SC411, SC425


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Statistics, computer programming (e.g. MATLAB and EXCEL scripting) to analyse data

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

​Online quizzes from week 2 will provide both the student and the lecturer/tutors with a mechanism for tracking the student’s progress. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 30%
Online quizzes related to the material presented each week
Refer to Format Online Submission
All 2 Artefact - Technical and Scientific, and Written Piece Individual or Group 70%
3000 to 4000 words or equivalent.
Refer to Format Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Two Quizzes
To demonstrate and apply knowledge, analyse relationships, and solve problems in Engineering research methods.
Product: Quiz/zes
Weeks 5 and 11 (subject to changes)

You will be asked to solve Engineering problems in an online quiz for two weeks of the semester in Canvas based on material covered in the learning material and tutorials.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Interpretation and evaluation of quantitative methods
All - Assessment Task 2:Engineering research
The purpose of this Task is to deliver key components of Engineering project such as those you will submit in ENG401 and ENG402
Product: Artefact - Technical and Scientific, and Written Piece
You will be introduced to Engineering research and the milestones or components of such research. These components will be submitted progressively in Weeks 3, 6, 9 and 13 (subject to change). You will work on individual or group (collaboratively) tasks to create and deliver project artefacts (including a literature review, 3MT video, etc.) of 'Engineering research'. Peer ratings will be submitted for group task, ie. SPARKPLUS will be used for this rating. 
Check the LMS for details of each task of 'Engineering research'.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Oral presentation: Pitch Video
Identification of the problem to be solved
Analysis and evaluation of data
Technical report
Demonstration of a professional attitude and collaboration in a team environment (peer review)

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Thiel, D.V 2014 Research Methods for Engineers (eBook available through the library) n/a Cambridge University Press, UK

Specific requirements

Safety glasses and closed in footwear

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all laboratory classes and a moderate level of health and safety risk exists. Moderate risks are those associated with laboratory work such as working with chemicals and hazardous substances. You will be required to undertake laboratory induction training and it is also your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. 
To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUniSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUniSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

UniSC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • UniSC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890