Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


In this unit students develop a research proposal for their Master of Science thesis. Students are guided by their research supervisors in planning their research project and developing a project proposal. The components of the research proposal include a clear articulation of the scientific context and significance, research objective and aims, methods, timeline, feasibility and estimate of costs. A critical review of the literature relevant to the project is undertaken so that students gain both breadth and depth of understanding of key concepts and their practical application as relevant to the research topic. The development of generic skills in critical reading, review and scientific writing is also an important objective of this unit.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face

Students are able to (1) critically review relevant literature to gain an understanding of a field of knowledge, identify gaps in current knowledge and use this to develop their research proposal in their field of study; (2) develop a plausible research question and frame a clear and concise research objective and aims to fulfil this objective through the course of the research; (3) design methods that are appropriate to the articulated aims, are demonstrably feasible within the timeframe, and with clear understanding of their limitations; and (4) demonstrate high-level skills in critical thinking, critical review and scientific writing.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research proposal and (2) literature review. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Annette George
Unit rules
Enrolment in
70630 Master of Science and satisfy eligibility criteria for research project
or dissertation
Unit(s) SCIE5590 Literature Review and Research Proposal
Contact hours
This includes introductory workshops on research methods and scientific writing as required, otherwise students work under the guidance of their project supervisors to develop their research proposal and literature review.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.