Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

The thesis units form the capstone of the Honours degree. These supervisor-led units respect the individual as an independent and active learner, allowing them to further develop and implement their theoretical and technical knowledge and skills by designing, conducting and communicating a research project in a collaborative and collegial environment. The aim of these units is to report the results of a research project in the form of an academic thesis to be submitted for independent examination following the existing University policy

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO 1 Conduct and report on a review of the literature that is able to inform and direct the research to be undertaken (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9);  

LO2 Implement a program of research that will effectively address a relevant research question, including the design of experiments and analysis of resultant data (GA3, GA5, GA7, GA8);

LO3 Report on the outcomes of that program in a manner consistent with well- recognised and prescribed academic practice specific to the discipline (GA4, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


A specific research topic will be chosen in discussion with the allocated supervisor. It will be based on the student’s current knowledge base, expertise and interest. The student will be required to prepare and present a systematic or narrative review of the literature, a discussion of the method chosen, describe their results, and discuss the implications and conclusions of their findings.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning will be largely by means of a mentoring relationship with the allocated supervisor. Students will be expected to meet regularly with their supervisor on an individual basis. The frequency of consultation might be expected to vary at different times in the process. For example, there might be a need for more regular contact during the actual formulation of the problem, at the commencement of the data collection and in the writing-up process. The supervision process, during which students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and its successful outcomes reflects respect for the student as an independent learner.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. The single thesis assessment outcome for this unit acts as the capstone assessment for the degree, incorporating the skills students have developed in previous units in terms of designing, conducting and communicating a research project. In consultation with their supervisor or supervisory team, students may elect to submit their thesis in either a traditional or manuscript based thesis format.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Ethics Approval

Approval from the appropriate Ethical Committee is mandatory for all research conducted in Australia and must be obtained prior to the start for data collection. This process is to ensure appropriate safeguards have been put in place to protect the rights and wellbeing of both participants and researchers. Students must submit the approval letter from the ACU HREC and the project’s assigned ethics approval number.

Hurdle Task

i)     Submission by thesis

A manuscript of between 10,000 to 15,000 words including footnotes, but excluding bibliography. The body of the thesis should include a review of the literature, a description of the relevant methodology and the outcomes and interpretation of the research.


 ii)   Submission as a journal article

A wholly authored or significant contribution to a research article, suitable for submission to a journal with the word length dependent on the requirements of the specific journal. The manuscript must be accompanied by a literature review and expanded methods section or discussion of methodology of 5,000 to 7,500 words (Sections to be weighted as follows: Literature Review 30%,Journal Article 50%,Expanded Methods 20%)


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Oral Presentation

Require students to demonstrate their skills in oral communication and the use of visual media by presenting the outcomes of their project.



GA4, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Baumgartner, T.A. & Strong, C.H. (2012). Conducting and reading research in kinesiology (5th ed.). Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

Day, R.A. (2011). How to write and publish a scientific paper (7th ed.). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Divan, A. (2009). Communication skills for the Biosciences: A graduate guide. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Katz, M. (2009). From research to manuscript: A guide to scientific writing. (2nd ed.). Springer: Dordrecht.

Lindsay, D. (2011). Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Matthews, J.R., & Matthews, R.W. (2014). Successful scientific writing: a step by step guide for biomedical and medical sciences (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Murray, R. (2011). How to write a thesis (3rd ed.). Open University Press: Philadelphia.

Reardon, D. (2006). Doing your undergraduate project. Sage Publications: California.

Rugg, G. & Petre, M. (2007). A gentle guide to research methods. Open University Press: New York.

Thomas, J.R. Nelson, J.K. & Silverman, S.J. (2015). Research methods in physical activity (7th ed). Champaign: Human Kinetics.

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