School of Population Health

Research project field visit

Research Project

Research Projects

Guidelines for preparing a Research Project

Project aims

When to begin thinking about the Research Project?

Who is eligible to apply?

Expression of Interest to undertake a Research Project

How to enrol in a Research Project

Submission of your project

Research project topics



Research Projects

The research project comprises an in-depth study of a contemporary public health, health management, international public health or infectious diseases intelligence issue or topic and may be in the form of a small-scale research study, a case study, a program evaluation or a report on field placement. Although candidates are advised to start planning a project early in their program, it is normally undertaken after completion of all core and elective courses. Students wishing to enrol in a project must obtain permission.

Three project options are available:

1) PHCM9148 Research Project - 6 UoC

The 6 UoC research project is available for students who are enrolled in any Masters program in the School of Population Health.

2) PHCM9144 Research Project - 12 UoC

Students who wish to undertake a PhD in the future will need to complete a research project for 12 UOC to be considered for entry into the PhD program. For further information please refer to Articulation from a Master by Coursework to PhD.

3) PHCM9150 Research Project - 18 UoC

The 18 UoC course is available to students who have been accepted to undertake a Masters with Extension and who have completed 48 units of credit with a minimum WAM of 65.

Guidelines for preparing a Research Project

The 'Research Project Guidelines for Students, Supervisors and Examiners' booklet contains important information for students embarking on their project. The booklet includes guidance regarding the scope of the project and what students should aim to achieve, how to plan the project, responsibilities of student, supervisor and co-supervisor, what assessors will be looking for and other important considerations.

Project aims

Projects will vary in their aims, scope and design however in general candidates are expected to demonstrate their ability to:

  • identify and define a significant issue
  • systematically collect relevant, up-to-date information about the issue
  • analyse, interpret and discuss the information
  • draw conclusions, make recommendations
  • write a report which is consistent with academic standards at Masters level.

The length of the project is generally in the order of 5,000 words for a 6 UoC, 10,000 for a 12 UoC and 15,000 for an 18 UoC project. It is expected that a 12 UoC and 18 UoC project will generate a report of a standard publishable in a peer-reviewed journal. It is important that you set yourself realistic goals for the project, and not attempt a work which would be appropriate for a Research Master’s thesis. The effort involved should correspond to a study load of 150, 300 and 450 hours for the 6, 12 and 18 UoC projects over the enrolled term(s). A 12 UoC project can be taken part time over 2 terms and 18 UoC over 2 or 3 terms.

When to begin thinking about the Research Project?

The earlier you begin preparing for the project, the easier it is to complete within the allotted time. Candidates who choose a topic early in their degree are able to select complementary elective courses, and carry out a considerable amount of the preparation through their assignments. At the least, by the time you have completed half the course work required in your program, you should have identified your topic area, and begun discussions with your supervisor so that you are ready to enrol in the project well ahead of the start of term. It is a good idea to start planning your project during the term prior to enrolment as it often takes time to fine-tune your proposal, find a relevant supervisor and obtain necessary approvals to undertake the study.

Who is eligible to apply for a Research Project?

Students must have completed at least 18 units of credit with a Credit average (minimum WAM 65) before they can apply to undertake a 6 or 12 UoC Research Project.

Students who wish to undertake a research degree will need to complete at least 12 UOC in research courses to be considered for entry into the PhD program. For further information please refer to Articulation from a Master by Coursework to PhD

Masters extension students wishing to enrol in the 18 UoC research project must have completed the requirements for the Master of Public Health, Master of International Public Health, Master of Health Management or Master of Infectious Diseases Intelligence (i.e. 48 Units of Credit) with a minimum WAM of 65.

Expression of Interest to undertake a Research Project

If you are interested in applying to enrol in a Research Project for 6, 12 or 18 UOC, please complete the Expression of Interest to undertake a Research Project form. Expressions of Interest will be evaluated by the School before acceptance into the course.

How to enrol in a Research Project

Enrolment in the Research Project is completed manually by student administrative staff. Students are not able to enrol themselves via myUNSW. Before you can be enrolled in a Research Project you are required to do the following:

  • Complete an EOI to enrol in a research project. The EOI will be sent out 6-8 weeks prior to the commencement of term.
  • Contact supervisors directly or contact your Program Director or specialisation co-ordinator for advice of identifying suitable supervisors and projects.
  • Develop a research proposal with your supervisor and complete the student section of the 'Application to undertake a Project' form.
  • Supervisors email completed application and proposal to at least 2 weeks prior to term commencement for internal review of the proposal. Supervisors will be notified of the outcome within 1 week.  Deadline for submission of proposals is Monday of O week in the Term the student is to be enrolled.
  • Once approved you will receive an email confirming your enrolment in the research project.

Submission of your Research Project

  • Research projects are to be submitted through Turnitin via Moodle.
  • The due date for all research projects is the last day of the study period of the term in which you have enrolled in the research project. Please refer to the UNSW Academic Calendar for these dates,
  • Research Projects that are not submitted by this deadline will receive the same late submission penalties as all other postgraduate courses.
  • Students requiring an extension to the submission of their research project will need to submit an application for special consideration prior to the submission deadline and provide supporting documentation in support of their application. This request will be considered by your research project supervisor.
  • Students who do submit their research project late should understand that this may delay the completion of their degree if it is the final term of study.