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Graduate Certificate in Industrial Relations RSG: Plan

Understanding the task

identify imageIt is important to break down the requirements of your assessment task before you start searching for information so that you can plan your approach.

At this first stage, you need to work out:

  • what the assessment is asking you to do
  • how you are going to search for answers to the question

The best place to find this information is your Subject Outline. You should carefully read all elements of the assessment information available including:

  1. the task description,
  2. the rationale, and
  3. the marking rubric.

Reading through each element will highlight key terms or concepts you are expected to demonstrate your knowledge of, and will also identify the types of information, or information sources, you are expected to use.

At first you may feel a little overwhelmed by all of the requirements. However, with some thought and planning, you can come up with a research plan that will suit your assessment tasks.

If you are confused or unsure about the assessment topic, ask your lecturer or tutor who will be happy to talk it through with you.

Topic Analysis

Let's start thinking about what terms you will use when searching for information. To do this:

  • Identify the key concepts of your topic - watch the Topic Analysis video on the right for guidance
  • Brainstorm as many synonyms and similar terms/phrases as you can.

This is a useful exercise because the language used to describe your topic may vary from source to source, and you don't want to miss out on a good source because it uses a different term to the one you are searching on.

Lets take a look at some of the topics used across your Graduate Certificate:

Topic or Key concepts Possible keywords
Taxonomy of values unitarism, pluralism, radicalism, workplace harmony, workplace conflict
hybrid work flexible, remote, workers, workplaces, work arrangements, co-located
modern slavery exploitative practice, human trafficking, forced labour, child labour
gig economy temporary, freelance, independent workers
collective bargaining negotiation, agreements
minimum wages living wage
conflict resolution dispute resolution, settlement
employee voice participation, decision making, employee-employer communication, surveys, feedback
workplace violence occupational violence, verbal abuse, written abuse, harassment, bullying, threat, attack

Find additional keywords

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias can help you to find additional keywords and get an overview of the concept.

Oxford Reference Online is a huge repository of subject-specific dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and other reference-type material.

Topic analysis

What information do you need?

Across your assessment tasks you have been asked to:

  • utilise subject materials and conduct your own independent research
  • draw on broad range of academic and reputable professional sources to demonstrate your understanding and support the evidence and recommendations you present.
  • integrate multiple perspectives

The next few pages will give you guidance on how to best locate these materials using both Library resources and the internet.


In INR502 you have also been asked to:

  • comment on the quality of sources as part of your evaluation of arguments

Check the Evaluating Information page for tips.