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PARA412 Honours Thesis (Part A)

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:

LO1 - Demonstrate the ability to formulate a research proposal (GA 3,5,7,8,9) 

LO2 - Conduct and report on a review of the literature that is able to inform and direct the research to be undertaken (GA 4,5,8,9) 

LO3 - Implement a program of research and/or enquiry that will effectively address a relevant research question (GA 3,4,5,7) 

LO4 - Report on the outcomes of that program in a manner consistent with well-recognised and prescribed academic practices (GA 4,9) 

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. Whether the student elects to submit their findings through a thesis or by means of a journal article, they will be required to prepare and present a systematic or narrative review of the literature and a discussion of the methodology(ies) chosen.    

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

Students will be required to submit their work for examination by two examiners appointed by the Head of School in accordance with University and Faculty policies. Marks will be allocated in accordance with the following format: 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

i)Submission by thesis 





ii)Submission as a journal article with methods section 

  1. Journal article 
  2. Literature review 
  3. Expanded method section 






iii)Submission as a journal article 

  1. Literature review 
  2. Journal article 





Representative texts and references

Baumgartner, T.A. & Hensley, L.D.. (2013).  Conducting and reading research in kinesiology (5th ed.).  New York: McGraw-Hill. 


Hulley, S.B., Cummings, S.R. Browner, W.S., Grady, D., Hearst, N. & Newman T.B. (2001).  

Designing clinical research: An epidemiologic approach (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott 


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. 


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


Williams, C. & Wragg, C. (2004). Data analysis and research for sport and exercise science. New York: Routledge. 

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