Online course in Teaching

Why Research Matters

Explore what research is and why it’s so important to us all. Find out how to make evidence-based decisions.

  • 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 Development and Humanitarian Action. Find out more.

Why is research so important?

Imagine a world without research, where governments carry out policy based on hunches and manufacturers release products without testing.

Research allows us to solve problems on a global scale and make evidence-based decisions.

During this course, you’ll get an introduction to what research is, and why it’s so important to us all. You’ll learn fundamental research concepts, meet leading researchers working on real-world problems, and identify an interest area for your own research.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsNICK BARTER: Stop for a moment and consider how our world evolves and transforms because of research.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsCHRISTOPHER STEVENSON: The remarkable changes and advancements we see in the world each day all started because someone like you had a question.

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsNICK BARTER: Or had a problem that needed solving. Will they dare to dream that things can be better, faster, safer? Research is at the core of human inquiry. Hello and welcome. I'm Nick Barter from Griffith University.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 secondsCHRISTOPHER STEVENSON: And I'm Associate Professor Chris Stevenson from Deakin University. Our world-class institutions have come together to craft a series of courses that will inspire you to identify and plan your own research project.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsNICK BARTER: Whether you're looking to use research to undertake an academic project, make a change in your work place, or solve a problem in your community, you're going to need to know how to get started.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsCHRISTOPHER STEVENSON: In this course, we'll explore why research matters and introduce you to key concepts to ensure you become confident in making evidence-based decisions.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 secondsNICK BARTER: Research has the power to transform a small spark of an idea into a reality that can save lives, improve our understanding of each other, and make our society better places to live.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 secondsCHRISTOPHER STEVENSON: Research makes a difference and so can you. Play your part. Join us in this two-week course and we'll show you how.

What topics will you cover?

  • The contribution of research to society
  • Introduction to fundamental research concepts, including:

    • Evidence-based decision-making
    • Research paradigms and approaches

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

What will you achieve?

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

  • Identify a potential area of research interest
  • Discuss how research helps solve problems
  • Explain paradigms and concepts essential to undertaking and understanding research
  • Apply a decision-making process based on evidence

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

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

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

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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 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.