• Offered by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Strategic Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Chui Ling Evelyn Goh
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

The course provides basic training in research design, research methods and ethics for students whose Honours thesis topics relate to International, Political and Security Studies in the Asia Pacific. It is required for all students enrolled in the Bachelor of International Security Studies Honours plan, and for all students enrolled in the Asia-Pacific Politics specialisation of the Bachelor of Asian Studies Honours plan.

Students will be trained to pose theoretically sound research questions, design feasible, appropriate research methods and locate their thesis in relation to debates in their discipline. The course aims to help students acquire the skills required to independently design, conduct and write up the findings from a scholarly research project.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate the ability to engage with disciplinary debates in research and writing
2. Develop a theoretically sound research design
3. Demonstrate the ability to select an appropriate, ethical method for researching a question in security studies.
4. Demonstrate skills in analysis and scholarly writing
5. Demonstrate the ability to present research questions, a research design and preliminary findings to an audience of academics and student peers, and to provide peer-review

    Indicative Assessment

    1. Oral presentation of thesis proposal, identifying theoretical debates underpinning research question: 10 minutes (LO 1, 2, 5). 10%

    2. Written justification of conceptual definitions, research methods and documentary sources: maximum 1,500 words excluding correctly formatted bibliography (LO 2, 3). 25%

    3. Draft introductory chapter of thesis: maximum 4,000 words (LO 1, 2, 3, 4). 45%

    4. Abstract and chapter outline: maximum 1,500 words (LO 1, 2, 4). 10%

    5. Class participation and peer feedback: weekly seminars, peer feedback and presentations (LO 1, 5). 10%

    In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

    The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


    Equivalent to 6 hours contact time per week. The schedule will comprise 10 x 4-hour classes and 3 day-long writing workshops. Total contact time will be approximately 72 hours.

    Requisite and Incompatibility

    You will need to contact the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

    Prescribed Texts

    Sandra Halperin and Oliver Heath, Political Research: Methods and Practical Skills (Oxford University Press, 2012)

    Preliminary Reading

    Ophir 'Concept', Political concepts: a critical lexicon 1 2011 (http://www.politicalconcepts.org/issue1/)
    Beland and Cox, Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research (Oxford University Press, 2012)
    Bennett and Elman, ‘Complex causal relations and case study methods’, Political Analysis 14 (2006)
    Boix and Stokes (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics (Oxford University Press 2009) 
    Gryzmala-Busse ‘Time will tell? Temporality and the analysis of causal mechanisms and processes’, Comparative Political Studies 44(9) (2010)
    Gunn and Faire Research methods for history (Edinburgh University Press 2012) 
    Hall, ‘Systematic process analysis’ European Political Science 7 (2008)
    Lustick ‘History, historiography, and political science: multiple historical records and the problem of selection bias. American Political Science Review, 90 (1996)
    Mahoney ‘The logic of process tracing tests in the social sciences’, Sociological Methods and Research 41(4) (2012)
    Mahoney ‘Path dependence in historical sociology’. Theory and Society, 29 (2000)
    Mahoney and Reuschmeyer Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences, (Cambridge University Press 2003).
    Pierson, ‘Not just what but when: timing and sequence in political processes’, Studies in American Political Development 14 (2000)
    Ravitch and Riggan Reason and Rigour: How conceptual frameworks guide research (Sage, 2012)
    Skocpol. Vision and Method in Historical Sociology. (Cambridge University Press 1984)
    White Mapping your thesis (ACER 2011)
    Wodak and Meyer Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis (Sage, 2009)


    Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

    If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

    Student Contribution Band:
    Unit value:
    12 units

    If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

    Units EFTSL
    12.00 0.25000
    Domestic fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2020 $7680
    International fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2020 $10920
    Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

    Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

    ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

    The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
    Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

    First Semester

    Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
    3298 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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