Online course in Business & Management

Why Planning Your Research Matters

Learn how to plan your research effectively and define your research question.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $44 Find out more
This course is part of the program Why Research Matters, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action. Find out more.

Why is planning your research so important?

Planning your research can make all the difference to the results of your research project.

This online course will show you how to create a comprehensive research plan and help you define your research question.

You’ll learn how to craft critical questions, develop comprehensive methods and understand the true potential of your research to improve our lives, workplaces and communities.

Throughout this course, you’ll be guided through a complete planning process to help you conduct your research effectively and turn your ideas into reality.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsNICK FOSTER: You know that idea you've always been passionate about.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsCHRIS STEPHENSON: Maybe it's a theory you have about solving a problem, improving an efficiency, or a hunch to explore something you just can't let go of.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 secondsNICK FOSTER: Your time for research is now, and you will need a plan.

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 secondsCHRIS STEPHENSON: A detailed plan will take you from thinking about your research project, to actually doing it. And we're here to lead you on the journey. Hello, I'm Chris Stephenson from Deakin University.

Skip to 0 minutes and 35 secondsNICK FOSTER: And I'm Nick Foster from Griffith University.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 secondsCHRIS STEPHENSON: In this course, we take you step-by-step through the process of planning your research, and prepare you to complete the all important research proposal. Planning will empower you to untangle complex problems, navigate the practicalities, and come through the other side with clarity, focus, and determination.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsNICK FOSTER: You'll hear from fellow travellers who are already embarking on a research project, and be guided by experiences researchers from our leading institutions. Deakin and Griffith Universities. Start your adventure today, with this free two week course, and turn your research aspirations into a feasible reality. Together we can produce research that matters.

What topics will you cover?

  • Undertaking a literature review
  • Specifying a researchable question
  • Crafting a research methodology
  • Assessing the potential impact of your research
  • Writing your research proposal

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 9 Dec 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Define a specific, researchable question
  • Review accessible literature relating to your question
  • Plan a defensible methodology to answer your research question
  • Develop a research impact and dissemination plan

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone interested in research. It may be of particular interest to people who are undertaking a research project related to their profession or area of study.

Who will you learn with?

Christopher Stevenson

Christopher Stevenson

Chris is an epidemiologist and biostatistician with a particular interest in evidence based health policy. He is a passionate teacher with a commitment to blending teaching with cutting edge research

Nick Barter

Nick Barter

Nick is an academic with a focus on developing frameworks to allow corporate strategists to realise sustainable strategies and expanding online education to as many learners as possible

Who developed the course?

Deakin University

Deakin University is one of Australia’s largest universities with more than 61,000 students and over 15,000 online.

Griffith University

Griffith University was created to be a different kind of university—challenging conventions, responding to trends and pioneering solutions through innovative teaching and research.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.


Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 4 weeks


Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited (New!)
$249 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Advance your career with a degree

What's different about this course?

Since 2017 you have been able to take a degree on FutureLearn. This free course is a bit like a starter course for a degree — it should give you a flavour of the degree subject but can also be your first step towards a degree qualification.

If you enjoy this course you can apply to join the program it’s part of to start working towards a degree on FutureLearn.

Don’t worry, you can still take the course without doing a full degree!

How do degrees work on FutureLearn?

Do the free course
Join and complete the program
Get academic credit for an online degree from Deakin University

Which program and degree is this course part of?

This course is part of the program Why Research Matters, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action.

This program is aimed at anyone interested in research, but may be of particular interest to people who are undertaking a research project related to their profession or area of study.