Course Title: Honours Thesis Part B

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Honours Thesis Part B

Credit Points: 36.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 2 2023


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2024,
Sem 2 2024

Course Coordinator: Peter Phipps (International Studies) / Stuart Thomas (Justice and Criminology)

Course Coordinator Phone: + 61 3 9925 2039 / 9925 9656

Course Coordinator Email: /

Course Coordinator Location: Building 37. Floor 5. Room 20/ Building 37. Floor 4. Room 32

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 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
  • Creativity
  • Critical analysis
  • 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; and 
• Preparation, presentation and editing of thesis text. 

Overview of Learning Resources

You will work independently and with your supervisor and will draw upon knowledge acquired in Research Strategies (Honours) (HUSO1222), Engaged in Research (HUSO2313) and for students enrolled in the following programs:

BH016 - Honours in Social Science: Critical Readings in Policy, Practice and Social Innovation (HUSO2372)

BH049 - Honours in Global Studies: Critical Readings in Global Studies (HUSO2376)

BH060 - Honours in Criminology and Justice: Critical Readings in Justice and Criminology (JUST2338)

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

The thesis will be assessed by two examiners. If there is a divergence of 15 percentage points or less between both assessor reports the average of both marks shall be awarded. If the divergence is more than 15 percentage points the dean/head of school or nominee will appoint a third examiner. The final mark will be determined at a meeting of the Honours Assessment Committee, (comprising the Coordinator, Discipline Leader, Supervisor and assessors). The thesis 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, organisation, word limit and overall presentation.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

Students are provided with the examiners' statements, but not the marks awarded by the examiners.

If you are enrolled in this course as part of an Honours level Program, the final outcome of your assessments will contribute to the Weighted Assessment Mean (WAM), which is used to calculate the classification of your Honours Degree. Please see the WAM student information page for more information on the WAM and how it is calculated

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.