ENGGEN 769 : Research Methods for Engineers


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Development of research methods knowledge and skills including research philosophy and design, research ethics, data collection and analysis techniques, identification of limitations, and writing up and reporting. Qualitative and quantitative research methods are addressed.

Course Overview

ENGGEN 769 aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of the research process from the research idea, through an iterative literature review, to a manageable research question and choice of research methods that match disciplinary and ethical requirements. You will develop your postgraduate research competencies through critical reading and writing skills, the development of library skills for research, proposal writing, quantitative/statistical and qualitative research skills, insights into negotiating and managing your supervision relationship, as well as the development of presentation skills. The course also provides specialised research guidance streamed by discipline aligned with the five Departments of the Faculty of Engineering.

Course Requirements

Restriction: CHEMMAT 751, CIVIL 705, COMPSYS 700, ELECTENG 700, ENGGEN 721, ENGSCI 700, MECHENG 700, SOFTENG 700

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify appropriate solutions to ethical issues in relation to research (Capability 3 and 5)
  2. Deconstruct the components of a scientific paper so that the key components can be identified and interpreted (Capability 2)
  3. Critically evaluate the quality of research and how it is presented (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Create a component of a scientific paper that is clear, unambiguous and informative (Capability 1 and 4)
  5. Create and present a clear, concise and persuasive research brief tailored for staff and postgraduate students in your department (Capability 1 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Academic Integrity Module 0% Individual Coursework
Paper Reading and Critiquing 25% Individual Coursework
Writing an Abstract and Critiquing a Poster 25% Individual Coursework
Analysing and Preparing Results for Presentation 25% Individual Coursework
Research Brief Presentation and Critique 25% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Academic Integrity Module
Paper Reading and Critiquing
Writing an Abstract and Critiquing a Poster
Analysing and Preparing Results for Presentation
Research Brief Presentation and Critique

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard [15] point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect [2] hours of lectures, a [1] hour tutorial, [2] hours of reading and thinking about the content and [5] hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Learning Resources

Recommended Textbook:
Research Methods for Engineers. David V. Heiel. Cambridge University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-107-61019-4.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html).


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 05/08/2020 12:16 p.m.