Online Microcredential in Study Skills

Preparing for Research

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

Created by

Deakin UniversityDeakin University

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Co-created by

Griffith UniversityGriffith University

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Plan an effective research project for professional work or academic study

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.

Learn how to critically approach any research problem

Whether you currently produce quality, professional-standard research in your workplace or academic context or you’re just starting out on your career in research, you’ll discover invaluable techniques that will help you effectively plan, design, and improve your research strategy, whatever your area of interest.

You’ll learn academic research skills to improve your ability to conduct effective research, examining the practical research methods and techniques required.

Analyse the value of different types of evidence

The first step when undertaking professional and academic research is understanding what research already exists in your desired area to uncover the value your research will provide.  This relies on crucial skills of synthesising what is already known about a topic.

Using Deakin library online databases to research (literature and data) and critical analysis practices of different online resources (eg free pre-prints. vs peer reviewed paid resources), you’ll gain critical skills that will help validate the viability of your proposed research.

Improve your decision making skills using balanced evidence

Misinformation is becoming an increasing issue for leaders when making informed decisions.

In this microcredential, you’ll develop the skills to critically assess research using evidence-based decision making. Using the examples, you’ll unpack synthesising evidence that says different things from different evidence types and arguments on both sides.

Examine the ethical considerations needed before undertaking research

You’ll learn how to critically gather and evaluate conflicting information, and bring your initial research together in the form of a literature review.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to highlight the importance of evaluative skills in designing your future research investigations whether in academic or work contexts.  

You’ll finish this microcredential with the skills to accurately define a research problem and will prepare you to further your understanding with the microcredential Designing for Research Implementation.

How will Preparing for Research improve my career opportunities?

Whether working in industry or academia, ensuring you have the skills to conduct ethical research to a high-standard will allow you to deliver data-driven insights, backed up by comprehensive evidence.

Will I earn a research credential?

This microcredential is developed to a masters level standard. It equates to half a point of academic credit, equal to half a unit of postgraduate study. If completed alongside Designing for Research Implementation, you’ll receive one full credit at Deakin University.

How will I be assessed?

Towards the end of this microcredential, you’ll apply your newly acquired knowledge by completing a research brief to present to senior management either within an academic or industry context.

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What skills will you learn?

  • Ethical principles in research
  • Gathering information, critical evaluation of information
  • Creation of a literature review
  • Production of a research brief
  • Define evidence and research
  • Evidence-based decisions and research paradigms

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

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

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

This microcredential has no prerequisites that must be completed before joining.

Is this microcredential right for you?

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.


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to the welcome area to introduce yourself and familiarise yourself with the microcredential structure and course materials.

  • Course

    From 26 Sep 2022

    Preparing for Research

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

    6 weeks

    10 hours per week

    • Week 1

      What is research and what is evidence?
      • Let's get started
      • Why does research matter?
      • What is evidence?
      • Weekly wrap
    • Week 2

      Evidence-based decisions and research paradigms
      • Evidence-based practice
      • Demystifying research approaches
      • Research approaches in practice
      • Weekly wrap
    • Week 3

      Ethical principles in research
      • Let's look at ethics
      • Our inherent differences necessitate agreed protocols
      • Does the end justify the means?
      • Weekly wrap
    • Week 4

      Getting started with assessments; Identifying your research question
      • You've got this!
      • Your research question
      • Week wrap
    • Week 5

      Reviewing literature
      • Your literature review
      • Academic integrity
      • Your research approach
    • Week 6

      Assessment preparation and submission
      • Assessment preparation and submission
      • Course wrap
  • After learning

    After learning you will receive a a statement of completion from FutureLearn and digital certificate from Deakin University.

What you will receive

0.5 Deakin Credit Points at Postgraduate level from Deakin University

You’ll receive a digital Credly badge worth 0.5 postgraduate level credits. With these credits, you can build towards a degree from Deakin University.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

A Digital Badge from Deakin University and Credly

image ⬅️ Click this image to see more information about the digital badge you will receive upon successful completion, validated by Credly.

Learn more about this organisation

Additional benefits

Complete your course within 6 weeks, including the assessment, or take extra time and use the regular assessment submission windows to complete within 20–26 weeks of your enrolment.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by 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

Career-focused learning by 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

Delivered by experts

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.

Is a PhD Candidate with the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE), Deakin University. You can contact me at

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

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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When would you like to start?

We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear about future runs and updates.

  • Join by 5 Jul 2024 at 00:00This microcredential started 26 Sep 2022

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We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

This microcredential has been developed by Deakin University at an AQF9 (Masters level) standard and provides Credit into a range of degrees. This credential is worth half a point of academic credit, equal to half a unit of postgraduate study.

Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.