Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


At least 20cp of specified Global Studies units.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The purpose of this Capstone unit is to give students the opportunity to integrate, consolidate and extend on the skills, knowledge and experiences that they have acquired over the duration of their Global Studies degree. The unit also supports students in their transition from undergraduate study to either further study or the workplace by introducing students to empirical research skills in global studies, data analysis and reporting. In this unit, students will formulate, manage and complete an independent research project negotiated and agreed with the Lecturer in Charge of the unit that investigates a major contemporary issue or debate in Global Studies. Students will investigate the global issue that forms the basis of the student’s case study for this unit from interdisciplinary perspectives, and will be introduced to interdisciplinary literature as evidence. The aim of the unit is to develop students’ research, analysis and report writing skills through the case study investigation of a ‘real world’ global issue and to generate transformation through having students critically reflect on their research of a global issue. Through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops, which will include case studies and guest lecturers, the critical examination of case study exemplars and consideration of different research approaches, students will practice and develop level-appropriate research skills and methods that they can apply to their own research projects. 

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 practical knowledge of a major issue or debate in Global Studies through an independent research project negotiated and agreed with the Lecturer in Charge of the unit (GA5) 

LO2 - Identify and apply as appropriate key principles of ethical research (GA3)  

LO3 - Employ appropriate empirical evidence and conceptual and theoretical frameworks to research, analyse and evaluate a major issue or debate in Global Studies through an independent research project negotiated and agreed with the Lecturer in Charge of the unit (GA4, GA8) 

LO4 - Communicate complex ideas, concepts and arguments effectively using a variety of media (GA9) 

LO5 - Critically reflect on the skills, knowledge and experiences that they have acquired through undertaking a case study on a global issue or debate (GA4) 

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 

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

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


1.    The unit is built around an independent case study research project connected to a major contemporary issue or debate in Global Studies. The issue or debate will be proposed by the student and approved by the teaching staff involved in the delivery of the unit with global issues or debates commonly drawn from though not restricted to these global studies themes:

  • Anti-globalisation
  • Climate change
  • Communication and technology
  • Culture and identity
  • Environmental sustainability
  • First Nations perspectives
  • Global Health
  • Global Inequality
  • Global media and syndication
  • Global risk and uncertainty
  • Global sport and leisure
  • Human rights
  • Migration and immigration
  • Politics and international relations
  • Power and conflict
  • Poverty and development
  • Religion
  • Security and terrorism
  • Social media and global information systems
  • Trade and the global economy
  • Transnational social movements (environmental, ’me too’ etc)

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode/Attendance Pattern: Attendance or multimode. 

Duration: 150 hours in total. 

The unit will employ a range of synchronous and asynchronous learning strategies, including lectures, seminars, workshops, and student-led presentations. Students on the unit will engage in online learning activities via LEO, irrespective of their mode of enrolment. 

The purpose of lectures, seminars and workshops is to: 

  • Introduce essential content (lectures) and discuss, analyse and learn from the research approaches and methodologies used in a range of published academic case study exemplars (seminars and workshops). Depending on the issue or debate under investigation, this may involve strategies of engaging and researching with minority groups (including ethnic, racial, gender or age-defined minority groups) and marginalised communities such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Case studies will also be used to examine principles of good research design and the effective use of evidence. Active student participation is anticipated and encouraged in seminars and workshops. Students will have the opportunity to participate in co-operative and experiential learning activities, whereby students work together in small groups to construct their own knowledge and critically reflect on their own learning experiences.      
  • Discuss the ethical dimensions of research (lectures, seminars and workshops). 
  • Support students in identifying, preparing, developing and delivering a suitable case study research project connected to the issue or debate under investigation (lectures, seminars and workshops). 
  • Support students in creating and displaying their proposed case study research project in poster (or equivalent) form for presentation to their peers (seminars and workshops). The presentation exercise is a student-centred activity designed to encourage and enable students to use extensive feedback on the proposal for their case study research to formulate a research question, and research design. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessment tasks are based around the case study research of a global issue or debate chosen by the student. The assessment tasks scaffold the skills and knowledge required to conduct and present, a comprehensive case study of the global issue or debate. The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit and participate in all assessment tasks.

Assessment task 1: Case study research proposal and presentation requires students to demonstrate a strong practical knowledge of their chosen research topic (LO1), and to refine a proposal for case study research on a global studies issue or debate and to present the proposal in a written and oral presentation.

Assessment task 2: An interdisciplinary literature review of the research topic proposed for assignment one requires students to demonstrate an awareness of the literature based evidence and conceptual/theoretical frameworks relevant to that topic from interdisciplinary perspectives (LO2), to summarise what is already known on the topic from interdisciplinary perspectives and learn to summarise and synthesise complex ideas, concepts and arguments concisely (LO 5).

Assessment task 3: Research report: Students will report the findings from empirical research undertaken on the case study topic from assignments one and two. Feedback from assignments one and two will be used to design and implement a small-scale research project to gauge public opinion on the topic using a research method such as a survey or interview. The assignment requires students to employ appropriate empirical evidence and conceptual/theoretical frameworks in order to research, analyse and evaluate that topic (LO2) and to incorporate into the assignment a brief reflection on learning in global studies research project (LO3). The research also requires students to identify and apply as appropriate key principles of ethical research (LO4). The report enables students to demonstrate their ability to communicate findings and ideas effectively in writing (LO5).

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Case study research proposal and presentation


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA5 

Interdisciplinary literature review


LO3, LO4,

GA4, GA8, GA9  

Research report task (written research report or equivalent) 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Adelheid, A. M. N., and Pexman, P. M. (2010). Displaying your findings: a practical guide for creating figures, posters and presentations. 6th edition. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Cresswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. 4th edition. Los Angeles: Sage.

Hammond, M., and Wellington, J. J. (2013). Research methods: the key concepts. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: characteristics, conversations, and contexts. Buffalo: University of Toronto Press.

Liamputtong, Pranee. (2020). Qualitative Research Methods 5e eBook, Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand, 2020.

McCormick, J. (2018). Introduction to Global Studies. Macmillan Education UK

Ritzer, G., and Dean, P. (2015). Globalization: a basic text. 2nd edition. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Walliman, N. (2010). Research methods: the basics. Abingdon: Routledge.

William, K., Woolliams, M., and Spiro, J. (2012). Reflective writing. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Zeiser, P. (2019). Global Studies Research (Ebook). SAGE Publications. 

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