MN691 - Research Methods and Project Design

Credit Points: 20 credit points

Workload: 36 hours

Prerequisite: MN601 Network Project Management , 4 core units of the MNet

Co-requisite: N/A

Aims & Objectives

This is a core unit out of a total of 12 units in the Master of Networking (MNet). This unit addresses  the  MNet  course  learning  outcomes  and  complements  other  courses  in  a  related  field  by developing students’ specialised knowledge in computer networks and applying critical skills in project management and networking equipment such as CISCO routers, switches, VOIP etc. For further course information refer to: This unit is part of the AQF level 9 (MNet) course.

This unit provides students with grounding in research methods, and approaches to research and project design. It also, together with MN692, constitutes a capstone final year project. Students will work under an assigned project supervisor who will assist in the selection of the project topic. Students spend substantial time on researching, analysing and developing the requirements, project plan and preliminary design for a capstone project. There will be a set of lectures and workshops on topics including research methods and industrial project issues. Students will apply what they have learned during their course to planning and designing a capstone project. Students will analyse requirements and apply research methods relevant to the formulation of the approach to their project.

This unit gives students the experience of putting into practice the concepts, methods and principles of core units of MNet, the appropriate use of research methods as well as an ability to apply communication and technical research skills in a realistic situation.

Learning Outcomes

4.1 Course Learning Outcomes
The Course learning outcomes applicable to this unit are listed on the Melbourne Institute of Technology’s website: 

4.2 Unit Learning Outcomes
At the completion of this unit students will be able to:
a. Develop and apply research methods and analytical, technical, managerial and time-management skills to the analysis and design of a capstone project.
b. Identify and evaluate project management concepts and apply them to a realistic business problem.
c. Research, adapt and apply the knowledge and skills acquired over the core units to plan a substantial capstone project.
d. Demonstrate effective communication skills in relation to client, ethical and professional behavior.
e. Work effectively and efficiently in a team and write a group report.

Weekly Topics

This is the first of the two core project units. Each week, students will meet with their project supervisor. In addition, to prepare students for the project, the unit will contain workshops on a number of topics on research methods and industrial project issues. The order of delivery may change depending on the availability of industry speakers to conduct workshops on industrial project issues.

The project may be industry-based or industry-relevant projects offered in-house. For in-house projects, industry exposure will be provided through workshops from industry professionals; all students are expected to attend the workshops since they are essential components of achieving the learning outcomes. Project topics require the written approval of the unit coordinator. Approval will be given only if the unit coordinator is assured that the project, if completed successfully, will meet the learning outcomes of the unit. An industry-based project may have an industry supervisor from whom the unit coordinator will seek input during the marking of the assessment tasks.

Week Topics
1 Introduction
2 Conducting Systematic Literature Reviews and Referencing
3 Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods, Design Approach
4 Modelling and Simulation Methods
5 Prototyping as a Research Tool
6-7 Professional Practice / Experience
8 Presentations
9 Design Approach discussions
10-11 Final report discussions
12 Presentations


Assessment Task Due Date Release Date Weight Learning Outcomes Assessed
Assignment 1 Individual report Week 3 (10/4/2022) Week 1 5% a
Assignment 2 Group report: Project Requirements Analysis and Specification* and Individual Report Week 5 (24/4/2022) Week 1 15% a
Assignment 3 Group report: Project plan and preliminary design* and Individual Report Week 9 (22/5/2022) Week 1 30% b
Assignment 4 Group report: A report on research undertaken for project planning, and research methods to be used for the next stage of the project* and Individual Report Week 11(5/6/2022) Week 1 40% a,c,e
Assignment 5 Group presentations Week 8 (10/5/2022) Tutorial class
Week 11 (31/5/2022) Tutorial class
Week 1 10% d
TOTALS     100%  

*Within a group task, a number of subtasks will be assigned to individuals by the project supervisor. This, along with individual contributions to the project, will be used to assess individual outcomes.

Class Participation and Contribution
This unit has class participation and student contribution as an assessment. The assessment task and marking rubric will follow the Guidelines on Assessing Class Participation ( Further details will be provided in the assessment specification on the type of assessment tasks and the marking rubrics.

Teaching Method

Lecture: 2 hours
Laboratory: 2 hours
PBL Tutorial: 1 hours
Face to Face

Textbook and Reference Materials

There is no text book. References and/or notes will be provided for the workshops.

Adopted Reference Style : IEEE Transaction on Networking 

Graduate Attributes

MIT is committed to ensure the course is current, practical and relevant so that graduates are “work ready” and equipped for life-long learning. In order to accomplish this, the MIT Graduate Attributes identify the required knowledge, skills and attributes that prepare students for the industry.
The level to which Graduate Attributes covered in this unit are as follows:

Ability to communicate Independent and Lifelong Learning Ethics Analytical and Problem Solving Cultural and Global Awareness Team work Specialist knowledge of a field of study


Levels of attainment Extent covered
The attribute is covered by theory and practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students always play an active role, e.g. workshops, lab submissions, assignments, demonstrations, tests, examinations.
The attribute is covered by theory or practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students mostly play an active role, e.g. discussions, reading, intepreting documents, tests, examinations.
The attribute is discussed in theory or practice; it is addressed by assessed activities in which the students may play an active role, e.g. lectures and discussions, reading, interpretation, workshops, presentations.
The attribute is presented as a side issue in theory or practice; it is not specifically assessed, but it is addressed by activities such as lectures or tutorials.
The attribute is not considered, there is no theory or practice or activities associated with this attribute.