• Deakin University
  • Griffith University logo

Preparing for Research

Develop the skills needed to ensure you produce effective, high-quality research for professional and academic projects.

Cropped image of a researcher creating planning for their research while sitting at library
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    10 hours
This course is part of the Preparing for Research program, which will enable you to plan an effective research project for professional work or academic study.

Preparing for Research

Developed by award winning researchers from Deakin University and Griffith University, this microcredential gives a broad introduction to the diverse types of research an undergraduate student, postgraduate student, or professional researcher needs to know before attempting any research project.


  • Week 1

    What is research and what is evidence?

    • Let's get started

      Meet your teaching team, other learners and discover key information about this course, including useful tips to help you get the most out of your learning.

    • Why does research matter?

      Let’s look at why research matters and how it can help solve problems. We’ll also look at what type of research project might interest you.

    • What is evidence?

      Good research collects evidence in valid and reliable ways. Let’s learn some basic principles for critiquing what you read.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on your learning and find out what’s on for next week.

  • Week 2

    Evidence-based decisions and research paradigms

    • Evidence-based practice

      Welcome back to Week 2. Let’s get started with evidence-based decision making. Why is it important and how can we do it well?

    • Demystifying research approaches

      Your world-view, choice of question and the scope of your problem will often determine the best way to proceed with your research. Let's look at some key concepts fundamental to deciding on a research approach.

    • Research approaches in practice

      There are so many ways to tackle your research problem, so it’s important to be clear on your specific question. Let’s explore the benefits of mapping out your ideas and collaborating with others.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on what you’ve learnt in Week 2, start preparing your second assessment and get ready for Week 3.

  • Week 3

    Ethical principles in research

    • Let's look at ethics

      Together we will examine the issues and power imbalances that necessitate ethical decision making in research.

    • Our inherent differences necessitate agreed protocols

      Let’s investigate the difference between morals and ethics and explore how a code of ethics provides a blueprint for decision making in the global research community.

    • Does the end justify the means?

      Let’s take a trip down memory lane as we explore some of the more infamous research studies in history. We’ll also consider a number of ethical dilemmas along with the role of the Research Ethics Committee.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on what you’ve learnt in Week 3, start preparing your second assessment and get ready for Week 4.

  • Week 4

    Getting started with assessments; Identifying your research question

    • You've got this!

      Like any project, time management, focus and perseverance will be your best friends along the way. Let’s explore what it’s going to take to achieve your goals.

    • Your research question

      Define a specific, researchable question.

    • Week wrap

      Reflect on what you’ve learnt in Week 4, start preparing your second assessment and get ready for Week 5.

  • Week 5

    Reviewing literature

    • Your literature review

      Review accessible literature relating to your question.

    • Academic integrity

      Define plagiarism and collusion. Commit to ethical behaviour.

    • Your research approach

      Determine your research approach.

  • Week 6

    Assessment preparation and submission

    • Assessment preparation and submission

      Discover and discuss practical tips and information about how to successfully complete and submit your assessment. Reflect on what you've learnt throughout this course and how you'll integrate this into your assessment task.

    • Course wrap

      Reflect on what you’ve learnt over the duration of this course, and also find out more about how to use your credential before considering the next steps of your learning journey.

Learning on this course

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 researchable problem
  • Synthesise knowledge to make evidence-based decisions
  • Search online academic databases more effectively
  • Apply ethics to your research project

Who is the course for?

This microcredential is designed for anyone with an interest in improving the standard of their research, both in academic and workplace contexts.

Whether you’re currently carrying out research and want to develop your research processes, or are planning on conducting research in the future, this microcredential will equip you to complete the initial research stages of research to a professional standard.

Who will you learn with?

is a Professor and the Associate Director of the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning. He researches higher education, feedback, cheating, assessment and research methods.

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

Is an academic in psychology and health sciences.

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

  • 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

  • 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 to help you keep track of your learning
  • 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

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