Credit points: 30

Subject outline

This subject aims to develop students' capacity to engage in sophisticated analysis and original research at Honours level. The first section of the subject focuses on research design, examining the nature of research at Honours level, how to develop a research question, how to locate relevant sources, and how to write a literature review, among other topics. In the second section of the subject, students will focus in depth on some of the key issues and methods involved in conducting research in their discipline. The overall aim is to ensure that students leave the subject with a strong understanding of what is required to produce first-rate research in their chosen discipline, and to help them develop the skills needed to successfully research and write an Honours thesis.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorNicholas Barry

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 4 - UG/Hons/1st Yr PG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesMajor essay; reflective written discussion of reading; research proposal.

Capstone subjectYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Enrolment in AHA or AHIR, or permission from Honours Coordinator or Subject Coordinator


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsStudents must be enrolled in a relevant Honours program within Humanities and Social Sciences.

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

COMMUNICATION - Communicating and Influencing
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Creativity and Innovation
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Research and Evidence-Based Inquiry

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Produce written work that reflects a clear understanding of the principles underpinning good research design in Politics, International Relations, Philosophy or GSDS.
02. Produce written work that reflects a critical understanding of important issues in contemporary Politics, International Relations, Philosophy or GSDS.
03. Produce written work that reflects the capacity to engage in advanced research on an important topic in Politics, International Relations, Philosophy or GSDS.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorNicholas Barry

Class requirements

SeminarWeek: 10 - 22
One 3.00 hours seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Major essay (equivalent to 4000 words)This assignment will require students to research and write an essay on a specific topic relevant to Honours-level research.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo50 SILO2, SILO3

Research proposal (equivalent to 2400 words)This assignment will require students to write a research proposal for their Honours thesis, drawing on the knowledge of research design they have developed through the subject.

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo30 SILO1

Reflective discussion of reading (equivalent to 1600 words)The reflective discussion will test students' engagement with a range of the readings covered in the subject.

N/AOtherIndividualNo20 SILO2