Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


ALHT404 Honours Research Project Implementation


ALHT414 Honours Thesis for Allied Health

Teaching organisation

300 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Research skills are important for our society as they facilitate change. They are also critical for the development of evidence based practice that ensures quality care of individuals, families and communities requiring allied health services. Honours programs provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to learn how to do research, to develop more advanced professional knowledge and skills, and to enter higher degrees by research at Masters and PhD levels.

This is the third and final unit in the Allied Health 18 month Honours program. In this unit students are provided with the opportunity, time and support for the final analysis of data related to the honours project and preparation of a final dissertation. To complete the dissertation, students are expected to write a research study report in the form of a journal manuscript. Students will also present their research outcomes at a student conference at the end of the semester. During this semester, students work with their supervisors to complete their projects. In summary, this unit aims to support students to complete data analysis and a final research report.

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 - Apply and evaluate appropriate techniques to analyse data to answer research questions (GA3, GA6, GA8)

LO2 - Critically review research outcomes to evaluate impact on practice and future research in the relevant field (GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Effectively report research findings in the form of a written journal manuscript using language appropriate to the field of enquiry and the journal guidelines (GA6, GA9)

LO4 - Present research findings orally and respond to questions from research peers and experts. (GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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 

Occupational Therapy Australia Ltd (OTAL) Entry Level Competency Standards developed in this unit are: 

OTAL Competency Standards 

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

1. Professionalism



2.Knowledge and Learning

2.1,2.3,2.5,2.6, 2.8

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4,  

3. Occupational Therapy Process and Practice


LO3, LO4 

4. Communication



The Competency Based Occupational Standards for Speech Pathologists (CBOS) developed in this unit will involve one of the following range practice indicators

One or more range of practic areas will be addressed: language, speech, swallowing, voice, fluency or multi-modal communication. Additionally, the following generic competencies will be developed: 

Standards/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

1. Reasoning 

1.1, 1.2 

LO1, LO2, LO3 

2. Communication 

2.1, 2.2, 2.3,  

LO2, LO3, LO4 

3. Lifelong learning 

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

4. Professionalism 

4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 

LO3, LO4 


Topics will include: 

  • Interpretation and reporting of data
  • Journal manuscript preparation  
  • Professional writing skills and publication process
  • Conference presentation skills  
  • Applying research skills to professional practice  
  • Managing feedback - Honours examination, journal review

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

In order to gain research skills, students need to be actively engaged in the learning process; therefore this unit takes a student-centred approach. Lectures and tutorials support students to acquire generic theoretical and technical knowledge and skills for research thesis production, and explore application to individual projects. Workshop presentations enable students to develop confidence in presenting research and gaining feedback from peers and academic staff. A significant portion of time is available in this unit for completion of students’ individual research projects, including data analysis and interpretation, and the final written and oral reports.  

Students are expected to take responsibility for their learning and meet regularly with their honours supervisors who will guide completion of their project reports. This learning and teaching strategy will support students to develop and apply advanced allied health research knowledge and skills to their individual research project with increasing autonomy. This unit involves 300 hours of learning which could include face-to-face, online and independent learning activities, supervision and assessment.

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit adopts an authentic assessment approach, requiring students to demonstrate application of research knowledge and skills to their individual research project. The assessment format is also designed to support a future research career by requiring the research outcomes to be reported in a journal article manuscript format that may later be revised for publication. Two oral presentations provide students with the opportunity to learn how to prepare and present their research outcomes and to gain feedback on interpretation of these outcomes.  

Key assessments in the Honours program are consistent with the ACU Guidelines for Honours Programs for three thesis components: a) a literature review (from ALHT404), b) a written project proposal (from ALHT405 and a presentation in this unit) and c) a journal article manuscript which forms the major assessment item for this unit. The journal manuscript will conform to chosen journal guidelines. Students will also deliver two oral presentations. The first presentation will report and evaluate the methodology and progress to date. The second presentation will conform with standard research reporting conventions and present key research outcomes and implications. Both presentations will elicit questions and feedback from an interprofessional audience. Flexibility will be provided for the timing and mode of delivery of presentations for students on placements that clash with scheduled class times.

In order to pass this unit, students are required to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. Assessment Task 2 (written report) is the only opportunity to evaluate achievement of Learning Outcome 3. Therefore, to pass this unit, students are required to achieve a summative grade for the unit of at least 50%, and achieve at least 50% for Assessment 2 (written report). If you receive a mark less than 50% on Assessment 2 (written report) and an overall pass in the unit, students will be given one opportunity to revise and resubmit the assessment task. A pass on this second attempt will result in awarding of the student's original mark for the unit overall. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1: Presentation: Enables students to evaluate methods and the progress of their research.


LO1, LO4

GA8, GA9

Assessment 2: Written report: Enables students to report research outcomes in a journal manuscript.


Graded Hurdle

LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA6, GA8, GA9

Assessment 3: Presentation: Enables students to present research outcomes and respond to questions in a conference context.  


LO2, LO4

GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Carter, R. E., & Lubinsky, J. (2016). Rehabilitation research: Principles and applications (5th ed.) Elsevier Saunders.

Hickson, M. (2008). Research handbook for health care professionals. Wiley.

Liamputtong, P. (2020). Qualitative research methods (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. 

Liamputtong, P. (2022). Research methods and evidence-based practice (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. 

Polgar, S., & Thomas, S. (2019). Introduction to research in the health sciences, (7th ed.). Elsevier.

Portney, L.G. (2020). Foundations of clinical research. Applications to evidence-based practice (4th ed.). F.A. Davis.

Thomas, S. (2000). How to write health sciences papers, dissertations and theses. Churchill Livingstone. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs