ENGGEN 769 : Research Methods for Engineers


2023 Semester One (1233) (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

The course is designed as an introduction to research specifically for those with little in the way of research experience and who are either about to start on a research project as part of their degree or are wanting to gain skills in research in preparation for the workforce. The expectation is that by the end of the course, you will have a toolbox of skills to be able to help you on your research journey.

The course itself is divided into three parts. The first part is intended to give you a good sense of the context of the world of research and how to position yourself as a researcher, and your research, within this context, before moving on to strategies for sorting information to allow for the identification of research gaps, and ultimately the important research questions that need addressing. The second part of the course focusses on methods, for example, how to choose an appropriate methodology and how to analyse your results so that you are able to draw meaningful conclusions from them. The third part of the course is focussed on presenting your results to the world, both in written and in oral formats.

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 2, 3 and 5)
  2. Critique components and forms of research outputs (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  3. Create a component of a scientific paper or presentation that is clear, unambiguous and informative (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  4. Identify and apply appropriate research methods (Capability 1, 2 and 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Ethical considerations in research 10% Individual Coursework
Paper evaluation and critiquing 25% Individual Coursework
Quantitative analysis 25% Individual Coursework
Writing an abstract 20% Individual Coursework
Presenting results 20% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Ethical considerations in research
Paper evaluation and critiquing
Quantitative analysis
Writing an abstract
Presenting results

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 the equivalent of two hours of lectures, a one-hour tutorial, three hours of reading and thinking about the content and four hours of work on assignments each week.

Delivery Mode


Online (for Semester 1)

The course will include live online events including group discussions/tutorials/lectures. Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities including discussion forums. These will be recorded and uploaded for anyone not able to attend. The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable with the course as a whole running according to the university semester timetable.

Learning 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.

All course material will be made available on CANVAS, the university's online learning management system. The following textbook is a useful resource for the course (available from the library as an on-line resource): Research Methods for Engineers. David V. Heiel. Cambridge University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-107-61019-4.

Health & Safety

Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Health and Safety section of the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook.

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.

The assessments for the course, including the chosen examples/scenarios,  will be revised to improve clarity and support learning.
More non-assessed opportunities to gauge learning will be provided.

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.

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 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.

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 course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 18/11/2022 12:44 p.m.