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  • Deakin University
  • Griffith University logo

Why Planning Your Research Matters

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

7,625 enrolled on this course

Why Planning Your Research Matters
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
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 seconds NICK FOSTER: You know that idea you’ve always been passionate about.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds CHRIS 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 seconds NICK FOSTER: Your time for research is now, and you will need a plan.

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 seconds CHRIS 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 seconds NICK FOSTER: And I’m Nick Foster from Griffith University.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds CHRIS 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 seconds NICK 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

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

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?

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 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.

  • Established

    1974
  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 280Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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.

  • Established

    1971
  • Location

    Queensland, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 210Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Advance your career with a degree

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!

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

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLplanningresearch to talk about this course on social media.