Course Title: Honours Thesis 2

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Honours Thesis 2

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Eric Porter / Peter Phipps / Diana Johns

Course Coordinator Phone: [9925] 1011 / 2039 / 9586

Course Coordinator Email: / /

Course Coordinator Location: 8.6.27 / 37.5.20 / 37.4.5

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Successful completion of a Bachelor of Arts or Social Science undergraduate degree with distinction average results or better, or successful completion of the first two years of a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning undergraduate program (or equivalent) with a distinction grade average (or equivalent).  

Course Description

The Honours thesis is the traditional stepping-stone to a postgraduate research career in university humanities and social science disciplines. You must devise a topic, develop it into a full research plan, come to terms with the major existing literature on the subject, investigate new sources, gather and organise data, sustain an interpretative discussion, and present an argument in a logical and coherent form.  

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The objective of this course is to help you to develop your abilities to plan and manage a structured research project. It is designed to provide you with an opportunity to be responsible for the identification of project milestones, adherence to self-imposed deadlines, maintenance of a project database, negotiation with research respondents, and management of communications with research project stakeholders including supervisory staff.


At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • demonstrate high order knowledge in a discipline area related to your research,
  • demonstrate thorough and extensive knowledge of relevant contemporary literature,
  • prepare and present professional academic papers,
  • apply theoretical understanding to the interpretation of substantive research findings,
  • develop and sustain a substantial argument over the length of the thesis,
  • demonstrate the use of critical and cogent analysis skills.

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:

  • Knowledge
  • Communication
  • Critical analysis
  • Creativity
  • Technical and professional skills

You will gain experience in discovery, critical analysis, problem-solving and interpretation through sustained critical attention that academic, policy or other research analysis projects require in a range of organisational settings.

Overview of Learning Activities

The research thesis component will incorporate the following tasks:

  • Preparation and submission of a research proposal,
  • Development of a bibliographical essay surveying available literature relevant to the thesis topic,
  • Research project planning and design,
  • Thesis drafting,
  • Preparation, presentation and editing of thesis text.

Overview of Learning Resources

There is no set text for this course. See honours student guide for further information and resources. 

Overview of Assessment

The thesis will be assessed wherever possible, by two examiners. If there is a divergence of 10 percentage points or less between both assessor reports the average of both marks shall be awarded. If the divergence is 10 or more percentage points the mark will be determined at a meeting of the Honours Assessment Committee, (comprising the Coordinator, Discipline Leader, Supervisor and assessors) or may be given to a third examiner at the request of the supervisor or the student.

Criteria for assessing the thesis are:

  • Coherence of definition of the topic or problem investigated and its rationale
  • Appropriateness of research design and methods
  • Evidence of consultation of the principal relevant scholarly literature, and use of appropriate bibliographical citation
  • Use of primary source material or data (where relevant)
  • Quality, strength and creativity of analysis and conclusions
  • Integration of material from primary and secondary sources or of theoretical and empirical components
  • Quality of written expression, organization, word limit and overall presentation