School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Research project field visit

Research Project

Research Projects Who is eligible to apply?
Guidelines for preparing a Research Project How to enrol in a Research Project
Project aims Submission of your project
When to begin thinking about the Research Project? Research project topics


Research Projects

The research project comprises an in-depth study of a contemporary public health, health management,  international 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 Public Health and Community Medicine.

2) PHCM9144 Research Project - 12 UoC

Students who wish to undertake a PhD 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.

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 to 10,000 words. 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 half time study load for fourteen weeks.

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, you should have identified your topic area, and begun discussions with your supervisor so that by the time you have finished your coursework you are ready to enrol in the project. 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 24 units of credit with a Credit average before they can apply to undertake a 6 UoC Research Project.

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

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 or the Master of Health Management.

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 the  'Application to undertake a Project' form and have it approved by your research project supervisor and Program Director.
  • Complete the accompanying forms which include emergency contact details for students and acknowledgment of familiarisation with relevant UNSW policies and procedures.
  • Return the completed forms to by Monday of O Week of the relevant term. Please refer to the UNSW Academic Calendar for relevant dates.
  • You will then be enrolled in the Research Project and will receive a email confirming your enrolment with the relevant information.

Submission of your Research Project

  • Research projects are to be submitted 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.