• Offered by ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Adv Studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Areas of interest Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Cultural Studies, Human Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Tom Cliff
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

Advanced Studies Courses in the Social Sciences and Humanities 1 (BPHB1114) provides students with an opportunity to conduct an in-depth review of the literature on a topic of their interest in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Students develop their research paper along with a select cohort of peers. Each student receives close guidance from the program convenor and professional academic skills advisers as well as structured peer input; students also learn to formulate and provide constructive criticism of others’ work and to edit their own work. This systematic approach helps to appropriately frame the research questions, define the literature to be reviewed, and structure the paper. As the first of a staged series of Advanced Studies Courses (ASCs) in the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)—Humanities and Social Sciences, BPHB1114 will help to provide a foundation to independent research with guidance from an academic supervisor—the subsequent ASCs, BPHB2114 and BPHB3114. BPHB-coded courses are open only to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)—Humanities and Social Sciences.

Program Context

The Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)—Humanities and Social Sciences, or PhB (HaSS), is a unique and innovative research-focused undergraduate degree for intellectually ambitious students who want to study at the highest level. Every student receives intensive individual attention and is supported by specialist academic mentors. 

The program structure is extremely flexible and courses can be taken from all areas of the University. Guided and advised by your academic mentors, you will help tailor and structure progression through the degree to suit your interests and desired outcomes.

Students do 36 units of ASCs during the PhB (HaSS) degree, each specifically designed to provide a strong research focus customised to each student and a stepping stone to the next level of independence and depth. Students personally select and work closely with a dedicated academic supervisor in a particular discipline or field of study to undertake ASCs. Learning activities and assessment are creatively devised to build transferable skills or achieve specific research outcomes, and may, for example, include:

  • Guided primary data collection, analysis, and presentation
  • Specially designed courses of fieldwork
  • Mass media production, for example web page development or Op-Ed contributions
  • Involvement in outreach activities 
  • Policy paper drafting and presentations to relevant Australian Government Departments or Units
  • Seminars to staff and students 
  • Reading courses/ literature surveys 
  • Involvement in current research at the University 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Discover and critically review scholarly literature pertaining to a specific region, key debate, or outstanding research problem.
  2. Systematically evaluate the available evidence—whether numerical, textual, aural, or visual—and the strength of analyses and arguments based on this evidence.
  3. Assess, articulate, and extend the limits of their own agency in the research process.
  4. Provide an effective sounding board for peers' self reflection and research scoping, as well as critical developmental feedback on peers' work.
  5. Understand and apply ethical standards of conduct in the collection and evaluation of data and other resources.
  6. Communicate research concepts clearly and effectively both orally and in writing—using appropriate structure, organisation, and writing style for a literature review.

Other Information

This course is a guided Literature Review course run with all first year PhB students

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assessment will be based on a literature review paper of 4500 words, including notes but not including bibliography, plus a presentation of findings to peers and academic supervisors. The disciplinary area and topic of the review will be decided by the student and PhB convenor in consultation. (80) [LO 1,2,3,5,6]
  2. Active participation in unstructured in-class discussion is expected and constitutes 10% of the final grade. (10) [LO 3,6]
  3. Active participation in structured prompting and peer feedback, both online and in face-to-face group work, is expected and constitutes 10% of the final grade. (10) [LO 3,4,6]

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.


This course requires a total of 130 hours of work on the following activities: 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks and 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course students must be studying a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) - Humanities and Social Sciences and have completed a total of 18 units of university courses.

You will need to contact the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Textbook #1: Efron (2018).

Efron, Sara Efrat, and Ruth Ravid. 2019. Writing the Literature Review: A Practical Guide. New York: Guilford Press.


Textbook #2: Mullaney & Rea (2022).

Mullaney, Thomas S., and Christopher G. Rea. 2022. Where Research Begins: Choosing a Research Project That Matters to You (and the World). Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Chicago, Illinois. The University of Chicago Press.


Preliminary Reading

ANU. 2021. 'Key Ethical Concerns: Human Research Ethics Committee', Accessed December 13. https://services.anu.edu.au/research-support/ethics-integrity/key-ethical-concerns.

Braudel, Fernand. 2009 [1958]. 'History and the Social Sciences: the Longue Duree', Review, XXXII 171-203.

Dietz, Thomas, Rachael L. Shwom, and Cameron T. Whitley. 2020. 'Climate Change and Society', Annual Review of Sociology, 46: 135-58.

Dooly, Melinda, Emilee Moore, and Claudia Vallejo. 2017. 'Research Ethics.' in Melinda Dooly, Emilee Moore and Claudia Vallejo (eds.), Qualitative Approaches to Research on Plurilingual Education (Research-publishing.net).

Efron, Sara Efrat, and Ruth Ravid. 2019. Writing the literature review: A practical guide (Guilford Press: New York).

George, Alexander, and Andrew Bennett. 2005. Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences (MIT Press: Cambridge).

Klinenberg, Eric, Malcolm Araos, and Liz Koslov. 2020. 'Sociology and the Climate Crisis', Annual Review of Sociology, 46: 649-69.

Lawrence, Roderick J. 2015. 'Advances in transdisciplinarity: Epistemologies, methodologies and processes', Futures, 65

Le Guin, Ursula. 1973. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (https://www.worldcat.org/title/ones-who-walk-away-from-omelas/oclc/25282554/editions?referer=di&editionsView=true).

Mullaney, Thomas S., and Christopher G. Rea. 2022. Where research begins : choosing a research project that matters to you (and the world) (The University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Illinois ;).

Randolph, Justus. 2009. 'A Guide to Writing the Dissertation Literature Review', Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 14: 13.

Smith, Deborah. 2003. 'Five Principles for Research Ethics: Cover Your Bases with These Ethical Strategies', Monitor: The American Psychological Association, 34: 56.

Stember, Marilyn. 1991. 'Advancing the social sciences through the interdisciplinary enterprise', The Social Science Journal, 28: 1-14.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8702 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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