• Class Number 1432
  • Term Code 3020
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Luigi Renzullo
    • Dr Luigi Renzullo
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 01/01/2020
  • Class End Date 31/03/2020
  • Census Date 24/01/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 24/01/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course allows students to pursue a special topic of individual or small-group study in order to gain particular or additional knowledge in a topic in environment, society and sustainability not covered in other courses taught in the Fenner School of Environment and Society or elsewhere in the University. Depending on the topic students may be required to develop and implement a research plan under the supervision of an academic member of staff; to pursue a guided reading program; to develop and implement a project with external stakeholders and/or practitioners under the supervision of an academic member of staff; and/or to take part in selected lectures, workshops, tutorials, seminars, discussion groups, field trips and other activities.

The course is intended principally for third-year students and can provide a useful introduction to self-directed research.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Pursue a sustained, guided critical investigation and evaluation of a topic relevant to the environment, society and/or sustainability.
  2. Systematically identify relevant theory and concepts, relate these to appropriate methodology and/or evidence, analyse data using appropriate methods and tools, and draw appropriate evidence-based conclusions.
  3. Work constructively with active researchers and practitioners on real research problems.
  4. Critically evaluate their own work and results as well as published research.
  5. Communicate research concepts and results effectively in appropriate formats.

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.

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:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments

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


  • Enrolment to this course is at the discretion of the Associate Director (Education), Fenner School, subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor. Students should click here to submit an application to apply to add the course. This form should be completed in consultation with the proposed supervisor.


  • The assessment start and end dates used in the Assessment Summary refer to the official start and end date of the session of enrolment. Individual start and end dates will be confirmed with each student prior to enrolment. Final dates are to be negotiated with the supervisor and/or course convener within the first 2 weeks of the first enrolment.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 This course can be taken as variable unit course (6-12). 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. Course structure, assessment and deadlines must be defined and communicated to students within the first two weeks of the first enrolment period. This should include the learning outcomes for the course, a copy of the assessment criteria that will be used by the examiners, information on academic and research integrity and a copy of the CHM/CoS statement for students on mark moderation. 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 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. The nature, weightings and deadlines of assessment items will be customised in negotiation with each student. An example of typical assessment is: 6-unit Research plan (15%) Oral Presentation (15%) A summary paper(s), 5000 words in total (70%) 12-unit Research plan (15%) Oral Presentation (15%) A summary paper(s), 8000 words in total (70%) Other types of assessment may include, but are not limited to: Literature Review Multimedia Presentations (including podcast production) Oral Presentation

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Research Plan* 15 % 06/01/2020 31/01/2020 1,2,5
Oral Presentation* 15 % 10/03/2020 31/03/2020 1,2,3,4,5
Research Paper* 70 % 10/03/2020 31/03/2020 1,2,3,4,5

* 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.


To be discussed and confirmed with the supervisor. There is no assessable participation requirement of this course. However, students are strongly encouraged to attend regular meetings with their supervisor.


There is no formal examination associated with this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 06/01/2020
Return of Assessment: 31/01/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5

Research Plan*

Students will negotiate a Research Plan with their supervisor. These will describe the objectives of the research to be undertaken, the material and methods required for the analysis, and provide an estimated time line for the research which will include the delivery of Oral Presentation (Assessment Task 2) and submission of the Research Paper (Assessment Task 3). Research Plan will be submitted to the supervisor for assessment within the first 2-3 weeks of the session, and the supervisor will provide feedback 1 week later.

*Sample only: students will negotiate their own assessment plan with their supervisor.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 10/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Oral Presentation*

Presentations must be at least 15 minutes (10 min presentation + 5 min questions) and at most 30 min (25 min + 5 mins) in duration.  These are typically due in the last 2-3 weeks of the session and feedback with be provided within 1 week of delivery. 

In consultation with the student’s supervisor delivery of the presentation can be scheduled to be part of the School’s regular seminar programs, planned by the supervisor to coincide with smaller ad hoc meetings/gatherings, or more formally arranged by the course convenor with fellow students as a standalone workshop.

*Sample only: students will negotiate their own assessment plan with their supervisor.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 10/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Paper*

Research papers are to follow as close as possible to the structure of peer reviewer articles in the student or supervisors area of expertise.

At the bare research papers will have section headings as follows:

  1. Introduction - description of the issue being tackled, demonstrated understanding of the relevant literature, and a clear statement of the objectives of the research. It is recommended that the final paragraph should read "In this paper we . . . "
  2. Material and Methods - what are the data sources, experimental data and apparatus used, and/or methods of processing and analysis? Must demonstrate a critical assessment of the appropriateness of the material and methods used (e.g. was the sample size sufficient? were the correct statistical methods used?)
  3. Results and Discussion (or Discussion as a separate section) - description of the findings of the research illustrated by figures and tables of publication quality.
  4. Conclusions (and were appropriate "Recommendations") - what can you conclude from your results? Do they match up with your research objectives (as stated in the Introduction)?

Recommended that these are submitted 3 weeks ahead of the end of session to allow marking by the supervisor(s) and (if agreed at the start of the session) independent reviewer.

*Sample only: students will negotiate their own assessment plan with their supervisor.

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 DIrector (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 a supervisor. 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

Assignments will be returned via the course Wattle site.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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

In exceptional circumstances the Convenor will allow an assignment to be resubmitted, but this must be negotiated with the Supervisor before being progressed to the Convenor for endorsement.

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 Luigi Renzullo
+61 2 6125 2647

Research Interests

Dr Luigi Renzullo

By Appointment
Dr Luigi Renzullo
+61 2 612 52647

Research Interests

Dr Luigi Renzullo

By Appointment

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