ENV BIOL 7310 - Sustainability: Research Methods

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2017

The course will enable students to explore research methodologies towards a research project under the direction of a University of Adelaide supervisor with a government or industry partner where appropriate. The project will focus on areas of research spanning governance, technology and innovation, social responsibility, science and the environment and/or economic relevant to sustainability.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 7310
    Course Sustainability: Research Methods
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Summer
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact By supervision
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Completion of 21 units in MSustain or MSustain(Adv)
    Restrictions Available to MSustain & MSustain(Adv) students only
    Assessment Literature review and research proposal
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Jenny Reiners

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A successful student in this should be able to:

    1 Demonstrate knowledge of content and/or techniques relevant to sustainability spanning governance, technology and innovation, social responsibility, science and the environment and/or economics
    2 Demonstrate an understanding of a specific area of study at an advanced level of international relevance.
    3 Locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner
    4 Demonstrate sound verbal and written communication skills
    5 Apply effective, creative and innovative solutions to current and future problems
    6 Show a commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No specific text book is required for this course. Students will be expected to access literature and databases relevant to their reseach project.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students will explore research methodologies towards a research project under the direction of a University of Adelaide supervisor with a government or industry partner where appropriate.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend 12 hours per week on their studies.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The research component provides students with the opportunity to explore a topic of interest within the scope of their Masters program spanning governance, technology and innovation, social responsibility and/or science and the environment.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Research proposal Formative & Summative Project scope due week 4
    Final proposal due last week of semester
    40% 1-6
    Literature review Formative & Summative Last week of semester 60% 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    Research proposal
    Students need to consult with their supervisor(s) in refining the original idea into a research plan. Projects should provide scope for critical enquiry and original thought within the construct of the program. Students should prepare a concept proposal within four weeks of commencement as a basis for discussion with the supervisor. The plan should include title, aims and significance, methodology, project requirements, and a timetable for completion. A finalised version of the research proposal (1000-2000 words) should be submitted by the last week of semester.

    Literature review
    Once the concept proposal has been agreed students are required to undertake a literature survey relevant to the research topic.
    The literature review should be presented as a written report (4500-5000 words) by the last week of semester.
    Late Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an
    assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.