• Class Number 3911
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 24 units
  • Topic 6 unit class
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Geoff Hinchcliffe
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

All ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences Master Advanced programs require the completion of a 24 unit thesis. THES8102 is the thesis course for the following Master (Advanced) programs:

Archaeological Science,

Arts specialising in English,

Art History and Curatorial Studies,

General and Applied Linguistics, and


Students in this course carry out advanced research on a question of their choice. Their topic is agreed with their thesis supervisor and approved by their masters convenor. Students design and implement a project to answer their research question, to place the answer in the context of an intellectual tradition, and to communicate it clearly to others.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. pose a significant research question relating to their discipline;
  2. investigate this question creatively, critically, ethically, and independently, including through sophisticated use of appropriate theory and methodology as appropriate to the discipline, and place these investigations in the context of the relevant intellectual tradition; and
  3. communicate their research and its findings through an appropriate medium.

Field Trips

No field trips are required to complete the thesis. Depending on the chosen thesis topic and the agreement of the thesis supervisor, some students may choose to undertake a field trip as part of their research.

Additional Course Costs

Students are responsible for the costs of producing hard copies of their thesis for examination.

Required Resources

Most Masters Theses have no required resources; exceptions are:

  • ANU School of Art and Design– Required Resources and Incidental Fees Student contribution amounts under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and tuition fees support the course described in the Course Outline and include tuition, teaching materials and student access to the workshops for the stated course hours.

Students are requested to refer to the School of Art and Design website for information.

  • ANU School of Music – depending on instrument, some music performance students may require their own instrument.

Your program convenor or thesis supervisor may recommend resources specific to your discipline or research.

Staff Feedback

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

• Thesis supervisors will comment orally and/or in writing on ideas and on drafts of written material

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Recycling of Material

Recycling “is the submission for assessment of work which, wholly or in large part, has been previously presented by the same student for another assessment, either at the Australian National University or elsewhere” (https://services.anu.edu.au/education-support/academic-integrity/determining-a-potential-breach). If each of the following two conditions are met, students may include in this course material that has been submitted for assessment in other 8000-level courses (but NOT 1000--7000 or 9000 level-courses) that are available in the program for which they are enrolled:

  • the 8000-level course from which material is being recycled states that material submitted in that course may be incorporated into the assessment for THES8100/THES8102/THES8103/THES8105/THES8113 Thesis; AND
  • the acknowledgments or introduction of the thesis clearly identifies the title of the assessment/s and name of the course/s from which material is being recycled, and an indication of the extent of the recycling.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 A total of 520 hours, including a minimum of 12 hours contact with the supervisor. It is the joint responsibility of the student and supervisor to arrange times for face-to-face or audio-visual contact. The supervisor is normally only available for consultation during teaching weeks of each semester. Except as specified below, a thesis is the sole piece of assessment for this course; to successfully complete this course, it must demonstrate all learning outcomes for the course (LO1-3).

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Thesis 100 % 23/05/2022 1,2,3

* 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills 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.


1. Schools/Centres are responsible for the examination procedure.

2. The thesis will initially be examined by at least two examiners; neither examiner should be the Supervisor or a staff member who has given extensive advice. At least one examiner will have expertise (I.e. publications, creative works, or teaching) related to the student’s project. Schools may decide whether or not any of the examiners should be external. Examiners will use the CASS Coursework Thesis Marking Guide to assign each thesis a grade and mark. In addition, each examiner will write a detailed report detailing feedback and guidance for the student.

3. The identity of an examiner will not be disclosed to the student unless the examiner gives written permission for this to happen.

4. Direct contact between the student and/or supervisor with any examiner of the student’s thesis about the thesis and its examination at any time between the appointment of the examiner and the finalisation of the mark is prohibited. The relevant Honours or Masters Convener may, at the request of an examiner, provide further information about the thesis or, in the case of joint work, the student's contribution to the thesis. In cases where the Convener is also the Supervisor, the Head of School or nominee will manage the examination process.

5. Each examiner must write a report on the thesis, of at least one page in length.

6. If the raw marks recommended by the examiners differ by 10 marks or less, the examination committee will determine the appropriate thesis mark.

7. If the raw marks recommended by the examiners differ by more than 10 marks:

• the Honours or Masters Convener will then consult the original examiners individually to attempt to reach agreement on an appropriate final mark and grade;

• if no agreement is reached, the Honours or Masters Convener will appoint a third examiner, who will provide a further recommended mark and full report; and

• the Honours or Masters Convener will then average the two closest marks. If the three marks are separated by the same difference (e.g. marks of 70, 80 and 90), the Honours or Masters Convener will average all three marks.

8. The Honours and Masters Convener will maintain a record of all discussions with examiners relating to the final mark.

9. Once the final mark has been resolved, all Honours and Masters Programs must hold an examiners meeting prior to submission of Thesis results to the Student Office to determine the final Honours or Masters result.

10. The composition of examiners meetings should be at the discretion of each discipline/program in consultation with the relevant Head of School.

- A student may, of course, apply for Special Consideration (centrally), and the written case should also account for any student Special Consideration application.

NB: A student Special Consideration application will not be admissible if the student was already granted an extension on the same grounds (no ‘double dipping’). 

Assessment Task 1

Value: 100 %
Due Date: 23/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3


Word limit (where applicable): The length of the thesis is a maximum of 20,000 words exclusive of footnotes, tables, figures, maps, bibliography, and appendices. There is a penalty of 10% for exceeding this word limit. Exceptions are:

  • Music Performance: One or two public recitals, to a total of approximately 90 mins duration (90%), and program notes accompanying the recital/s (10%)
  • Music Composition, Arranging, and Sound Design: A portfolio of works (90%), and program notes accompanying the portfolio (10%)
  • Music Composition: A portfolio of works (90%), and program notes accompanying the portfolio (10%)
  • Music Composition for Film and Video Games: A portfolio of works (90%), and program notes accompanying the portfolio (10%)
  • Design: A substantial body of design work presenting the outcomes of the Honours research project. (100%)
  • Visual Arts: A substantial body of visual artwork, drawing upon innovative studio and contextual investigation. (100%)
  • Translation:
  • Option 1 a substantial, original translation and exegesis maximum of 20,000 words total (100%). Upon successful completion of option 1, students are eligible for the Certified Advanced Translator testing level subject to the availability of the NAATI certification tests for each language.
  • Option 2 a critique of an existing translation/s maximum of 20,000 words total (100%). Upon successful completion of option 1, students are eligible for the Certified Translator testing level subject to the availability of the NAATI certification tests for each language.

Additional requirements are set out in the annual CASS Masters (Advanced) and Honours Guide. In the case of any inconsistency between http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au and the CASS Masters (Advanced) and Honours Guide, http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au takes precedence.

Presentation requirements: see the CASS Masters (Advanced) and Honours Guide on the CASS website for further details.

Title page. The first page should indicate the title of the thesis, the degree (and Honours Specialisation, if in the Bachelor of Arts) being completed, the University, the candidate’s name and the month and year of submission. It should state: “This thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of XXXXX in the College of Arts and Social Sciences.”

The second page should state: “I hereby declare that, except where it is otherwise acknowledged in the text, this thesis represents my own original work.” The second page should also state: “All versions of the submitted thesis (regardless of submission type) are identical.” This is where you can also put in a statement about the recycling of material.

A signed statement relating to Human Research Ethics. If required include the protocol number. If not required state that the thesis did not require human research ethics approval.

Table of contents / figures / tables / plates




Bibliography/References. The system of referencing can vary in the College, so you must check with your Supervisor.

Appendices. If required

Please talk with your Supervisor or Convenor if you are unsure of what any of these elements are.

The following guidelines have been adopted by the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences for the presentation of theses, and you are advised to follow them where possible:

  • The paper layout should be A4 size, with the text double –spaced.
  • Pages should be numbered consecutively.
  • Margins:
  • Left hand 40mm
  • Right hand 35mm
  • Top 30mm
  • Bottom 30mm

Where your discipline or School requires hard copy to be submitted, the following also applies:

  • Check with your Program Convenor as to whether a hard copy is required, and if so, how many.
  • Any method of duplication may be used that gives a clear, clean copy.



High Distinction

90% - 100%

Work of exceptional quality demonstrating a high level of originality, and making a fundamental contribution to the field. There is very little the student could have done additionally or alternatively. The thesis suggests outstanding potential for future research work.

High Distinction

80% - 89%

Work of excellent quality showing clear understanding of subject matter and appreciation of issues; well formulated; arguments sustained; relevant literature referenced; marked evidence of creative ability and originality; high level of intellectual work. The thesis suggests excellent potential for future research work.


70% - 79%

High quality work showing strong grasp of subject matter and appreciation of dominant issues though not necessarily of the finer points; arguments clearly developed; relevant literature referenced; evidence of creative ability; solid intellectual work. The thesis suggests good potential for future research work.


60% - 69%

Work of sound quality showing competent understanding of subject matter and appreciation of main issues though possibly with some lapses and inadequacies; arguments clearly developed and supported by references though possibly with minor red herrings and loose ends; some evidence of creative ability; well prepared and presented. The thesis suggests limited potential for future research work.


50% - 59%

Range from a bare pass to a safe pass. Adequate, but lacking breadth and depth. Work generally has gaps. Frequently work of this grade takes a simple factual approach and does not attempt to interpret the findings. At the lower end, indicates a need for considerable effort to achieve improvement. The thesis suggests little potential for future research work



Unsatisfactory. This grade characterises work that shows a lack of understanding of the topic. Inadequate in degree of relevance and/or completeness. The thesis does not suggest any potential for future research work.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

Assignments are submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site. 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

Some disciplines additionally require the submission of hard copies; contact your Convenor for whether or not this requirement applies to your discipline. Please keep a copy of submissions for your records.

Late Submission

Under special circumstances, students may apply for an extension of time to submit their thesis or equivalent work (music notes, portfolio etc.).

An extension of time for submission of thesis and equivalent work is granted only under exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Education).

Applications for extension must be made using the CASS Honours and Masters thesis extension form.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Theses are returned though your School/Centre office.

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

The thesis may not be resubmitted.

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).

Geoff Hinchcliffe

Research Interests

Geoff Hinchcliffe

By Appointment

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