Research Methods in Science

BIO80005 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 48

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2024 teaching periods


Higher Ed. Semester 2

29 Jul 24 - 27 Oct 24

3 Dec 24

Last self enrolment:
11 Aug 24

31 Aug 24

Last withdraw without fail:
13 Sep 24

Aims and objectives

The unit aims to enable students to develop and demonstrate essential research methods skills required to undertake and complete a research project in science, for example, acquisition and critical analysis of literature, experimental design, selecting and using alternative methods to address the hypothesis or research or technical problem, record keeping, problem solving, data generation and critical analysis, delivering scientific proposals, reports and assignments, and team work. The topics together provide the strong foundation essential for undertaking further research projects in the course as well as research-focussed employment.

Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

1. Investigate a research or technical problem with confidence in an unstructured environment.
2. Demonstrate skills in the research methods of undertaking literature review related to the issue, critical analysis of the findings, identifying gaps or opportunities, and designing a clear and concise research question
3. Demonstrate skills in experimental design to address the problem, including application of theoretical principles, suggesting and/or theoretically applying appropriate laboratory technique(s), calculations, graphics, statistics and/or computer-based tools, use of appropriate controls, sample sizes, and recognising and avoiding flaws in experimental design
4. Develop and demonstrate skills in a selection of research methods such as (but not restricted to) pre-clinical and clinical trials, ethical considerations such as animal ethics, human ethics and/or gene technology ethics, occupational health and safety matters, select bioinformatics tools for analyses of genes and/or proteins and accessing the relevant databases.
5. Demonstrate skills of organisation, planning of work, record-keeping, problem-solving and effective communication with work partner/team
6. Critically analyse and interpret the results and present written reports and/or multimedia presentations