CONMGNT 7000 - Research Dissertation (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

To develop a proposal for an independent research study or project which addresses a question or topic relevant to the management of building or civil engineering projects. Students will find and refine a research topic, which is based on extensive literature review. A research proposal will be submitted to document these research ideas as well as a preliminary research design.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CONMGNT 7000
    Course Research Dissertation (M)
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites ARCH 7042 Designing Research
    Course Description To develop a proposal for an independent research study or project which addresses a question or topic relevant to the management of building or civil engineering projects. Students will find and refine a research topic, which is based on extensive literature review. A research proposal will be submitted to document these research ideas as well as a preliminary research design.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Jian Zuo

    Course Timetable

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

    Refer to MyUni for more information.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate advanced understanding of principles of academic research.
    2. Locate, evaluate and critique existing studies.
    3. Identify the gap within the existing body of knowledge and research questions.
    4. Demonstrate advanced understanding of common research methods and tools for construction and civil projects related studies.
    5. Develop a research proposal.
    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
    Recommended Resources
    Fellows, R. F., & Liu, A. M. (2015). Research methods for construction. John Wiley & Sons.
    Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.
    Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods. Sage publications.
    Fowler Jr, F. J. (2013). Survey research methods. Sage publications.
    Chen, H. X. (2012). Approaches to quantitative research: A guide for dissertation students. Oak Tree Press.
    Denicolo, P., & Becker, L. (2012). Developing research proposals. Sage.
    Biggam, J. (2015). Succeeding with your master's dissertation: a step-by-step handbook. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
    Naoum, S. G. (2012). Dissertation research and writing for construction students. Routledge.

    Journal of Cleaner Production
    Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
    Journal of Management in Engineering
    Building and Environment
    International Journal of Project Management
    Energy and Buildings
    Applied Energy
    Project Management Journal
    Construction Management and Economics
    Journal of Green Building
    Energy Policy
    Journal of Green Building
    International Journal of Construction Management
    Online Learning
    University Email:
    The school uses the University email system to get in touch with the students. So it is imperative that you check your email regularly and keep up to date with any new announcements.

    MyUni is an essential online tool which will be used to communicate information regarding the course including details of assignments and interim grades. There are many other learning resources and assessment pieces that rely on the MyUni system for delivery. Therefore it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the various functions of MyUni and employ it to its fullest extent.

    Discussion Board:
    The MyUni Discussion Board can be used to interact with other students and tutors and is an essential tool to discuss information and increase your understanding of issues.

    Lecture Recording:
    In certain cases the recording of the lectures is made available in electronic format for students to listen through on their own time and make notes, and is provided through the MyUni system. However, this service is only available for lectures with essential course content and may not include guest lectures. Furthermore, where the presentation content is subject to copyright or the guest speaker is uncomfortable with the recording of the content, the lecture recording will not be made available online. So students should not rely solely on this mode of learning and arrange to attend or get lecture content from peers.

    Noticeboard / Handbook:
    General information about the activities at the School is available online from the Student Noticeboard which can be accessed at current-student
    Students can also access a copy of the Student Handbook at the following link:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course consists of two components. The first 6 weeks involve a series of lectures and studio to help students to referesh their research skills, especially in the context of construction project management. The one-hour Lectures are designed to provide the common theories and models used in construction project management research. This is followed by 5-hour studios which provide students opportunities to practice their research skills in purpose-designed activities.

    Students will then undertake their research in the second half of semester, under the guidance of supervisor. Students are expected to meet with the supervisor regularly to present their progresses.

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

    The University expects full-time students (ie. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote at least 48 hours per week to their studies. Accordingly, students undertaking this 3 unit course are expected to devote 12 hours per week to contact activities and self-guided studies.

    Based on this framework here are some figures that might assist workload management:

    For a 6 unit course:
    Total workload hours: 24 Hrs per week x 13 weeks = 312 Hrs
    Total contact hours: 6 Hrs per week x 12 weeks = 72 Hrs
    Total self-guided study: 312 Hrs – 72 Hrs = 240 Hrs

    These 240 hours should be used towards preparation of weekly tasks and for completion of the various assignments associated with the course, including development of various skills required to complete the same. Please organise your time wisely.

    This is a 6 unit course. Recommended study commitments are meant to be hours of full time study, not just sitting thinking about the subject! The communication skills developed by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Essential information on construction management specific research and approaches to research in the built environment are provided in the course: ARCH 7042 Designing Research. Similarly, lectures, seminars and workshops are designed to further develop students’ research skills particularly for construction management related research fields. The approach to learning is progressive, building upon fundamental concepts and knowledge acquisition culminating in this course which tests students ability to apply the research approaches outlined in this course. Students are advised to prepare a research topic outline as part of ARCH 7042 Designing Research. This can form the basis for this course. Regular meetings with the allocated supervisor aim to ensure that students are clear in defining their research question/ aim and make appropriate choice of research methods. The attendance and participation is designed to monitor progress as well as provide progressive feedback to students.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Failure to attend teaching due to medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances is dealt with the School Policy, administered by the School Office. Submit the appropriate application for supplementary consideration together with the original signed medical or other relevant officer, to the School Office. If you foresee a problem contact the Course Coordinator BEFORE the problem actually occurs. Otherwise, contact the Course Coordinator as soon as possible and submit the appropriate application for supplementary consideration to the School Office.

    Please pay attention to following policies:
    fieldtrips: Field Work policy and guidelines (; and
    insurance information (;
  • 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 Weighting Length Due Learning Outcome
    Attendance & participation Individual 10% At least 6 supervisor meetings Over semester 1,4
    Literature review report Individual 30% 2000 words Mid semester 1,2,3
    Final research proposal Individual 60% 3500 words (including Literature review report) End of semester 1,2,3,4,5
    Total 100%
    Assessment Detail
    Attendance & participation: Students must attend at least 6 face to face meetings with their supervisor over the course of the semester in order to be credited with 10% of the total assessment.

    Literature review report: Students must present an individual written Literature review report which outlines the research field, states the research topic and justifies the research problem. An indication of the current state of knowledge of the chosen research topic derived from academic literature review is expected, though this may not be comprehensive.

    Final research proposal: Students must present an individual written Final research proposal which outlines the research field, states the research topic, aim/ question and outlines the methodological approach to be used to address the stated aim/question. Students are expected to give a verbal presentation which summarises the content of their written report, to the supervisor and other students in the class by the end of the semester.
    All assignments must be submitted through MyUni site. Note that NO LATE submissions will be accepted unless it is due to illness and other accepted circumstances as explained in the School's Student Handbook.

    Submissions (General):
    All submissions must include Student Name and Student ID Number. Submissions without Student Name or ID Number will not be considered for marking, and will receive zero marks in accordance with the guidelines.

    In addition, all assignments need to have an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Please attach the cover sheet in front of the document, to the top left hand corner.

    Please adhere to submission deadlines and follow instructions provided.

    Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the Course Coordinator.

    On occasion, the lecturer/tutor may wish to retain students’ work for future reference and the relevant student will be informed at such a time.
    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 ( 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.

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