Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


Permission of National Head of School or delegate.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The Global Studies Special Project enables students enrolled in a Global Studies double degree to undertake a major study experience in Australia only in the event that they are unable to study abroad or undertake an international internship (as normally required under the Course Rules) because of continuing international travel bans arising from terrorist attack or natural disaster or because of exceptional continuing personal circumstances such as chronic illness, acute personal/emotional circumstances, hospitalisation, or serious family illness.

The Global Studies Special Project is a flexible program of study that consists of a tailored undergraduate-level Global Studies research project along with either an onshore internship with an approved organisation, or, an onshore community-engaged or work-simulated learning experience in the Australian community. The focus of the unit is to study and reflect on the ways in which Australian policy, people or organisations respond to global and transnational contexts. Students will develop knowledge and skills from the special project that can be applied to their future careers.

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:

LO1 - Demonstrate a strong evidence based knowledge of a major issue or debate in Global Studies through an independent research project negotiated and agreed with the lecturer-in-charge (GA5, GA8) 

LO2 - Employ appropriate ethical, conceptual and theoretical frameworks to research, analyse and evaluate a major issue or debate in Global Studies (GA4, GA5, GA8) 

LO3 - Communicate complex ideas, concepts and arguments effectively using a variety of media (GA9) 

LO4 - Utilise relevant knowledge and skills in an internship, work-simulated or community engaged context (GA5, GA6) 

LO5 - Critically reflect on the internship/community-engaged or work-simulated experience and articulate the connections that exist between the internship or community engaged context, host organisation and global processes (GA4, GA6) 

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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

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


Topics can arise from the following activities: 


The issue or debate will be chosen by the student in consultation with the teaching staff involved in the delivery of the unit and will normally be drawn from the following list of globalisation themes: 

  • Anti-globalisation 
  • Climate change 
  • Conflict/conflict resolution 
  • Communication and technology 
  • Culture and identity 
  • Environmental sustainability 
  • Ethics 
  • Intersections of gender and ethnicity 
  • Global institutions 
  • Health 
  • History and ethnicity 
  • Inequality 
  • Migration or refugees 
  • Policy and government response to global issues 
  • Political manipulation of global issues 
  • Poverty 
  • Religion 
  • Rights 
  • Security 
  • Trade 
  • Transnational civil, Indigenous and other social movements (environmental, women, youth) 
  • Where a cohort undertakes the unit, the teaching staff may decide the content to be investigated prior to the start of the unit. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode/Attendance Pattern: Briefings, classes, consultations, on-shore immersion or internship programs; or special studies individual research projects supervised by qualified staff. This will be negotiated on an individual basis unless a whole cohort is unable to travel due to terrorist threat or other unforeseen circumstances.  

Attendance at or multi-mode interaction in supervision sessions will provide students with basic content knowledge, as well as guidance and advice around key interpretations, debates and problems. In this way, such sessions also establish a framework appropriate for independent learning. Active student participation is anticipated and encouraged in supervision sessions. Students consolidate their understanding, knowledge, analytical and communication skills through negotiation and interaction with staff and, in the case of a larger cohort where supervision sessions run as seminars or workshops, students will also interact and learn from activities with peers. Working with a supervising staff member, students will develop advanced level skills in planning and undertaking a research project on a global topic. Students will work independently in their internship and critically reflect on the experience. Students undertaking a community engaged project will be under the supervision of the lecturer-in-charge and will be trained in appropriate skills such as oral history interviewing prior to the commencement of the project. Where community engaged learning includes oral history interviews with consenting adults, taught ethics approval will be sought, and current taught ethics procedure adhered to. 

The Global Studies Special Project will differ according the circumstances of each student/cohort. Where the project involves travel within Australia, students will need to become familiar with the cultural expectations associated with the destination community, as well as a health and safety considerations.  

Where students undertake a community immersion experience within Australia: 

  • Sessions enable students to prepare emotionally and mentally for their on-shore immersion experience tailored to the specific destination in order to navigate the intensity of culture shock on arrival. For those travelling within Australia, pre-departure preparation forms part of the risk management component of the program.   
  • Where an on-shore immersion has occurred, there will be compulsory post-project session/s to debrief students and reduce ‘reverse culture shock’ experienced by some students upon their return. The post project sessions are important to ensure that students are able to readjust to their home community satisfactorily, a process which forms part of the risk management of the program. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment will be appropriate for a 40cp unit. 

One of: 

  • Onshore internship with an organisation that interacts internationally or caters for people from international contexts e.g. refugees (approximately 70 hours) 
  • Onshore community engaged learning experience 


  • Undergraduate research project (12 weeks) 

Or in the case of an entire cohort unable to travel: 

  • On-shore work-simulated or community-engaged experiences 


  • Undergraduate research project (12 weeks) 

Assessment task 1: Major Research Assignment 

Students will be expected to produce a research assignment that equates to 20cp of undergraduate assessment. This may have separate components set by the supervising lecturer in charge such as (but not limited to): a project proposal; literature review; presentation of data; analytical and evaluative written tasks; digital or oral components.  

The research assignment allows students to demonstrate their strong practical knowledge of their chosen topic (LO1) and allows them to employ appropriate ethical, conceptual and theoretical frameworks to develop a topic, research, analyse and evaluate a major issue or debate in Global Studies (LO2). The report enables students to demonstrate their ability to communicate complex findings and ideas effectively in writing (LO3). 

Assessment 2: Internship or Community Engaged/Work Simulated experience and Global Studies Internship/Community Engaged Assignment 


The final 20cp of the unit is linked to the completion of an on-shore internship; community engaged experience or work-simulated experience which is a hurdle task, and the completion of the Global Studies internship/community engaged assignment. The internship or community engage/work simulated experience allows students to utilise relevant knowledge and skills in an internship, work-simulated or community engaged context (LO4 GA5, GA6). The internship should be approximately 70 hours but may be longer if the student obtains a longer placement.  

The Global Studies Internship/Community Engaged/work-simulated assignment requires students to critically reflect on the internship/community-engaged or work-simulated experience and articulate the connections that exist between the internship or community engaged context, host organisation and global processes. (LO 5; GA4, GA6) 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Major Research Assignment (may be staged in sections)  



GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9 

Global Studies Internship/Community Engaged/Work-simulated Assignment 



GA4, GA5 

Completion of on-shore internship, community engaged or work-simulated experience. 



For on-shore immersion that involves travel within Australia: Registration of trip details with ACU- recommended emergency service (eg International SOS). 



Representative texts and references

There are no required texts although students may be required to read relevant sources of literature provided by ACU and if applicable the host organisation. Recommended general list of readings is provided below.  

Barry, J. (2015). Unsettling planning education through community-engaged teaching and learning: Reflections on the Indigenous Planning Studio. Planning Theory & Practice, 16(3), 430. 

Brudney, J. L., & Russell, A. R. (2015). Hours Aren't Enough: New Methodologies for the Valuation of Community-Engaged Learning. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 2015. 

Egan, L. Butcher J., & Ralph K. (2008). Hope as a basis for understanding the benefits and possibilities of community engagement. Sydney: Institute for Advancing Community Engagement, Australian Catholic University. 

Fitzgerald, Hiram E, & Primavera, Judith. (2013). Going Public Civic and Community Engagement (Transformations in Higher Education). East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press. 


Georgeou, N. (2012) Neoliberalism, development and aid volunteering. New York: Routledge. 

Ife, J., & Tesoriero, F. (2010). Community Development: Community-based alternatives in an age of globalisation (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia. 

Mathie, A., & Cunningham, G. (2003). From clients to citizens: Asset-based Community Development as a strategy for community-driven development.  Development in Practice, 13:5, 474-486. 

Ollif, C.E. (2001). ‘Can 28 Days Make a Difference? A case study of Community Aid Abroad’s Community Leadership Program’. Australian Geographical Studies, 39:3, 353-364.  

Sweitzer, H. Frederick, & King, Mary A. (2014). The Successful Internship: Personal, professional, and civic development in experiential learning (Fourth ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning. 

Watson, David, Hollister, Robert, Stroud, Susan E, & Babcock, Elizabeth. (2011). The Engaged University: International Perspectives on Civic Engagement (International Studies in Higher Education). Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. 

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