• Class Number 8760
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 24 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Bruce Doran
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
    • Dr Bruce Doran
SELT Survey Results

This course is a compulsory component of the Honours program that provides practical training in research practice culminating in the production of a thesis.  Students develop a research topic in consultation with one or more academic supervisors, and design, plan, execute and report on their research conducted with the guidance of a supervisory panel.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Plan and engage in an independent and sustained critical investigation and evaluation of a chosen research topic to generate new knowledge.
2. Systematically identify and evaluate relevant theory and concepts, relate these to appropriate methodologies and evidence, and draw appropriate original conclusions.
3. Engage in systematic discovery and critical review of appropriate and relevant information sources.  
4. If relevant, demonstrate sufficient mastery to understand, evaluate, and appropriately apply techniques and methods to collect original research data and/or develop new techniques and methods to collect original research data.
5. Analyse and interpret research data with appropriate statistical or other evaluative processes to generate new knowledge.
6. Understand and appropriately apply ethical standards of conduct in the collection, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of data and other resources.
7. Communicate and justify complex research concepts, methods, results, contexts, and implications clearly and effectively both in writing and orally to a variety of audiences.

Research-Led Teaching

The entire course is devoted to teaching and learning research skills and conducting original research for potential publication. Students will learn core knowledge about conducting research and will implement that.

Additional Course Costs

Students wishing to undertake field and laboratory work to support their project may incur small additional costs relating the travel expenses and equipment. The School provides a Student research project allocation to the value of $900 to support students through their Honours year.

Examination Material or equipment

Not applicable.

Required Resources

Enrolled students who wish to include field and/or laboratory activity within their project must contact the relevant staff below to confirm that the activity is supportable by the School:

  • Field work - Piers Bairstow (Piers.Bairstow@anu.edu.au)
  • Laboratory work - Andrew Higgins (Andrew.Higgins@anu.edu.au)

A series of resources will be available on the course Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Oral and class feedback for the Presentations
  • Oral and written feedback by Supervisors on drafts
  • Written feedback on the thesis from the (two) Examiners

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Please note that the assessment outlined within this summary refers to students commencing their enrolment in Honours mid-year (i.e. from Semester 2 2019) on a full time basis. Students commencing in the calendar year or who are enrolled on a part-time basis should refer to the course Wattle site for deadlines relevant to assessment.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 This course can be taken as variable unit course (6-24). For every 6 units of enrolment, the expectation is that the student would work a minimum of 8-10 hours/week over the course of the semester. Guidance (including details of all milestones) about how to approach the preparation of the thesis is provided in the Fenner School Honours Handbook available on the course Wattle site. The student should: Maintain a close dialogue and constructive working relationship with your supervisor(s); Plan your research program with your supervisor(s); Consider advice seriously. If advice is not taken, the supervisor should be informed and given the reasons for the decision; Consult regularly with your supervisor. Students should prepare in advance for consultations, by determining the help they require and the areas in which advice would be useful; Complete the formal requirements and milestones for the course; Complete, to the best of your ability, a well written, thorough and competent project. The supervisor should: Assist in selecting and defining the scope of a suitable topic or problem; and in devising a schedule of work; Ensure the student is appropriately trained to undertake the research, including any safety and ethics requirements; Guide the student in the selection and application of appropriate data collection and analysis procedures and advise on a solution if difficulties arise; Advise on matters of research report content, organisation and writing, including the timely provision of feedback; Meet frequently with the student to discuss and evaluate each stage of the project; Ensure appropriate ethics clearance is gained before the student commences the research work. This summary provides general information for a student enrolling in this course for the first time as a part-time student. It is expected that full-time Honours students will enrol in this course multiple times over consecutive semesters (total 36 units) along with other coursework courses that form part of the honours year to a total of 48 units. Dates for submitting the thesis are defined based on the semester in which the student will complete their enrolment in the Honours year. For further details, please refer to the course information and related documents in Wattle, and to the Science Honours Handbook. Milestones - please see 2019 Honours Timeline and Handbook for full details. Thesis Submission - 28 May 2020

Tutorial Registration

Not applicable.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Thesis 100 % 29/10/2020 03/12/2020 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Planning your thesis revolves around a number of milestones which include the following:

  1. Proposal seminar
  2. Mid-term review
  3. Completion of all major data collection/field work/experiments/calculations/background reading required by no later than one month prior to submission.
  4. A complete draft of your thesis, provided to your supervisors by an agree date (at least one month prior to submission is recommended) that will allow them to give you feedback on that draft no later than two (2) weeks prior to the thesis submission deadline.
  5. Thesis submission (electronically and in paper form)
  6. Final seminar (assessed under ENVS4001 Honours Research Skills)
  7. Thesis defence

Students are required to complete all of the milestones.

Students should discuss all milestones with their supervisor(s) and familiarise themselves with the details of each milestone outlined in the Honours Handbook.


Not applicable.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 100 %
Due Date: 29/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7


The Honours year is an apprenticeship in the training of researchers, and the thesis will probably represent your first major engagement with independent research and writing.

Since Honours projects differ in type and content, there is no standard format for writing that is common to all theses. Nevertheless, there are several common features essential to all good writing and presentation.

The following criteria are widely accepted as defining a research thesis:

  • Should present a clearly written argument in concise, lucid prose. The author must ensure that the reader/examiner is ‘put in the picture’.
  • Should demonstrate your capacity to identify an area for research, design the research program, undertake it, report the findings, and relate these to other relevant work in your field.
  • Identifies and demonstrates your ability to understand and apply a meaningful approach to your topic. The methodology of your approach should be clearly presented and substantiated. Data/information analysis or analysis of ideas is an important part of your methodology. The analysis should both be understood and appropriate to your approach. Effective communication of this knowledge is essential.
  • Should present material that provides a good view of the phenomena, and, arguably, be the best you could be expected to collect. Methods of observation, measurement or other forms of information gathering should be fully and clearly described.
  • Should be professionally presented, i.e. word processed with figures, tables and plates properly labelled and with accurate and comprehensive referencing using an approved format.
  • The thesis must be appropriately presented for examination, and for inclusion in the School collection of Honours theses.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Feedback will be provided in the form of written reports and/or verbally for oral assessments. Where permission has been granted by an nominated examiner, students may also be given access to an annotated copy of their thesis.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission is not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Bruce Doran

Research Interests

Dr Bruce Doran

Dr Bruce Doran
+61 2 6125 6950

Research Interests

Dr Bruce Doran

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions