A research project comprises an in-depth study of a relevant public health, global health, health management or infectious diseases intelligence issue or topic and may be in the form of a small-scale research study, a case study, a program evaluation or a report on field placement.

Projects will vary in their aims, scope and design. During the course of the project, candidates are expected to demonstrate their ability to:

  • identify and define a significant issue
  • systematically collect relevant, up-to-date information about the issue
  • analyse, interpret and discuss the information
  • draw conclusions, make recommendations
  • write a report which is consistent with academic standards at Masters level.

The overall learning experience for students is independent research with supervision by one or more academic supervisors. Projects are either negotiated, student-led proposals or selected from projects proposed by academic supervisors. It is important that you set yourself realistic goals for the project and not attempt to undertake work that would be appropriate for a research Master’s thesis. Three project options are available:

  1. PHCM9148 Research Project – 6 UOC
    The time commitment for the 6 UOC research project should correspond to a study load of approximately 150 hours over the enrolled term.
  2. PHCM9144 Research Project – 12 UOC
    The time commitment for the 12 UOC research project should correspond to a study load of approximately 300 hours over the enrolled term/s. A 12 UOC project can be taken part time over two terms.
  3. PHCM9150 Research Project – 18 UOC
    The time commitment for the 18 UOC research project should correspond to a study load of approximately 450 hours over the enrolled term/s. An 18 UOC project can be taken part time over two or three terms.
  • Research projects are only available to students enrolled in the Master of Public Health, Master of Global Health, Master of Health Leadership and Management or Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence, or associated dual and extension postgraduate coursework programs, who achieve a WAM of 75 or above after completion of at least 18 UOC of their program. 

    Students who wish to undertake a research degree will need to complete at least 12 UOC in research courses to be considered for entry into the PhD program. 

  • The first step is to read the Research Project Guidelines for Students, Supervisors and Examiners booklet, which has important information for students considering or enrolling in a research project. It includes guidance about the scope of the project and what students should aim to achieve; how to plan the project; responsibilities of student, supervisor and co-supervisor; what assessors will be looking for, and other important considerations.

  • The earlier you begin preparing for the project, the easier it is to complete the project within the period of enrolment. Candidates who start planning a project early will be able to select relevant elective courses and may undertake some preparation through their assignments. By the time you have completed half the course work required in your program, you should have identified your topic area and approached academics about their capacity to supervise your project so you are ready to enrol in the project well ahead of the start of term. You may wish to consider one of the advertised projects. You are encouraged to consider the knowledge and skills that you would like to acquire during the project before you start contacting potential supervisors (see Early Stage Research Project Planning). Projects that require ethics approval must have the approval prior to submitting your application for enrolment. Obtaining ethics approvals takes time, which is an important reason to start planning early. In the term prior to enrolment, you will need to draft your proposal with the input of your supervisor/s and obtain feedback and approval from the Research Coordinator prior to enrolment.

  • Enrolment in the research project is completed manually by student administrative staff. Students are not able to enrol themselves via myUNSW. Before you can be enrolled in a research project, the following requirements must be met:

    1. Read the course guidelines, including sections on eligibility, supervisors and project proposals.
    2. Self-assess your eligibility to enrol in the research project by checking that you meet the minimum WAM of 75 and completion of 18 UOC prior to anticipated enrolment. Your eligibility will be officially reviewed when you submit your application for enrolment.
    3. Contact academics regarding their capacity to supervise and potential projects (see the Early Stage Research Project Planning document).
    4. Complete the relevant quantitative research project application form  or qualitative research project application form with your supervisor/s.
    5. Supervisors must email the completed application form and proposal to least two weeks prior to term commencement for internal review of the proposal. Supervisors will be notified of the outcome within one week – clarification and revisions may be requested.

    The deadline for the submission of the final version of the proposal is the Monday of O Week in the term the student is to be enrolled. Once the application and project proposal have been approved by the Research Project Coordinator and Education Support Office, you will receive an email confirming your enrolment in the research project.

    • At enrolment, students and supervisors will be provided with the course rubric.
    • Students and supervisors will need to nominate the appropriate reporting guidelines for their study design/methods from the Equator network site (e.g. CONSORT, STROBE, RECORD, PRISMA) or alternative framework for reporting if there are no published guidelines available (e.g. journal submission guidelines). 
    • Students and supervisors should review the course rubric at enrolment to plan to address all components in the final report, including the 300-500 word critical reflection on research knowledge and skill development.  
    • Students are expected to draft their final report in accordance with the nominated reporting guidelines/framework and the course rubric.
    • Research projects are to be submitted through Turnitin via Moodle by the due date.
    • You need to email the project report, Turnitin report report and your nominated reporting guidelines to your supervisor/s and examiner for marking.
    • The due date for all research projects is the last day of the study period of the term (or last term) that you have enrolled in the research project (please refer to the UNSW Academic Calendar for dates). Research projects that are not submitted by this deadline will receive the same late submission penalties as all other postgraduate courses.
    • Students requiring an extension to the submission of their research project will need to submit an application for special consideration  prior to the submission deadline and provide supporting documentation in support of their application. This request will be considered by your research project supervisor.
    • Students who submit their research project late should understand that this may delay the completion of their degree if it is the final term of study.
    • Examiners will use the rubric as a guide for marking the final report.
  • Vanessa Green–for application process, administrative queries and submission of assessments.

    Dr Kathleen Falster–for project proposals.

  • Examiners will be asked to use two documents to guide their assessment of the final research report: 

    • The course rubric, which includes guidance for marking each section of the final report.
    • The student nominated reporting guidelines from the Equator network site (e.g. CONSORT, STROBE, RECORD, PRISMA) or alternative framework for reporting if there are no published guidelines available (e.g. journal submission guidelines). 

Research project topics

Students can elect to take a Research Project as part of their coursework degree. The project comprises an in-depth study of a public health, health management or international health issue or topic.
opens in a new window