Some of these are compulsory and will give you grounding in research methods for your particular discipline, others are optional and you may elect to take them in order to develop specific research skills.

In addition to these opportunities, the School of Graduate Research (SGR) and schools offer regular research training workshops that you can take to develop your research practice. Attending these workshops is also a great way to meet other research students.

All higher degree by research (HDR) candidates commencing their degree will combine the following compulsory and optional components in their degree. You should be aware of the relevant census dates when making changes to your coursework enrolment

Research Methods/Strategies (12 credit points)

The Research Methods/Strategies courses are taught in large discipline groups and are designed to be taken at the beginning of your candidature.

These courses include preparation of the literature review and research proposal for Confirmation of Candidature. Because these courses are specifically designed for RMIT’s research programs and Confirmation of Candidature requirements, it is strongly recommended that you enrol into the appropriate methods/strategies course, even if you have a completed a similar course during another degree.

Research integrity and ethics modules

The research integrity modules include Research Integrity and Intellectual Property (IP). They provide information on ensuing your research is ethical and responsible and data management, as well as introducing you to relevant RMIT policies and procedures.

These modules are compulsory for all new HDR candidates and must be completed prior to Confirmation of Candidature. They are not for credit and you do not need to enrol into them when you select courses during online enrolment.

Depending on your research project you may also have to complete one or more ethics modules in human ethicsanimal ethics or gene modification.

You can access the online research integrity and ethics professional development modules via Research Integrity and Governance education and training.

Please note there are two login options available: ‘Onsite’ which uses the RMIT intranet and your normal student login details and ‘Offsite’ which uses the following login details:

Username: rmit
Password: research

Other coursework requirements

You must satisfactorily complete any other compulsory course(s) as prescribed in your program’s Enrolment Program Structure. In some programs this will include disciplinary-specific coursework.

Qualitative techniques and quantitative techniques (12 credit points)

Qualitative and quantitative research techniques courses offered are as electives in most HDR programs.

Both courses are designed to be taken after you have completed Research Methods/Strategies and will include discussions on the data collection methods and data analysis that you are using for your own research. It is therefore recommended that you enrol into these courses when you are ready to start, or have started, collecting data.

Elective coursework

You may also choose to take one or more elective courses, if they are available in your program. This should be done with the agreement of your supervisory team.

If you wish to audit a course (e.g. participate in a course without being formally enrolled or assessed), you will need to seek approval from the course coordinator.

Co-curricular activities

During your candidature, you will have the opportunity to participate in a number of co-curricular activities. You should take advantage of these activities as they help you build your research and professional skills, provide a forum to discuss common issues and introduce you to candidates and staff from across the University.

Co-curricular activities include:

  • PhD Up! program 
    The PhD Up! program offers professional development for HDR candidates, with workshops presented by the SGR, Library, Student Services, and Study and Learning Centre.
  • The e-Grad School 
    A virtual graduate school providing online moderated research skills development modules to HDR candidates across Australia.
  • Shut Up and Write 
    For writers to get together on a regular basis and focus on writing in a supportive atmosphere.
  • School and college-based workshops and presentations
    Contact your HDR administrator to ensure you receive emails about these activities and supervisor-led working groups.
  • Supervisor-led working groups
    Contact your supervisors and/or HDR Coordinator to find out about working groups within your school.

You may be eligible to apply for credit or RPL for compulsory coursework in your program; however it is recommended that you complete the RMIT Research Methods/Strategies course, even if you have completed a similar course elsewhere, as this course prepares you for research at RMIT and is specifically designed to assist you in achieving your Confirmation of Candidature. Where credit or RPL is granted, it is usually in the form of an ‘exemption’ – you are not required to complete the course, but your maximum duration of candidature is not affected (i.e. it does not shorten your program).

If you are transferring to RMIT from a research program at another university, your consumed candidature from that institution may be deducted from your maximum duration of candidature at RMIT – where this occurs, it is considered to be ‘prior load’ rather than ‘credit’. In these instances, your program is shortened.