Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused reading and thinking, including discussion with the student's supervisor, attendance at the School research seminar, and preparation of assessment.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Students are given the opportunity to research, under supervision, a specific topic in philosophy that is of particular interest or significance to them. The topic and research question for the project must be approved by the course coordinator in consultation with the student and supervisor. The unit aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop more advanced skills in philosophical research.

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 - analyse some of the key philosophical issues, debates and scholarly opinions in the area of study (GA4; GA5);

LO2 - frame a specific research question that targets a particular philosophical issue (GA4; GA7);

LO3 - analyse critically some of the major issues at stake in the question, research and evaluate scholarly contributions in the area, and present a position on the issue of their own (GA4; GA8; GA9).

Graduate attributes

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 


The project topics will be chosen in consultation with the supervising lecturer- in- charge and the course coordinator.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of focused reading and thinking, including discussion with the student’s supervisor, and preparation of assessment. It is through the provision of supervisory support that students are assisted to meet all three of the unit learning outcomes. Such support includes assistance in the refinement of the research project, direction in terms of reading lists of key texts in the field, clarification of key concepts and theories arising from this reading, provocations toward critical analysis of unit reading, and support during the research essay drafting process.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy for this unit has been designed to examine students’ understanding of the philosophical issues and theories under consideration, as well as their ability to critically analyse those issues and theories. The learning outcomes are achieved through a two stage process by which the student works with the supervising lecturer to develop a clear research proposal, argument, and bibliography, before then submitting the final essay at semester’s end. This is to be an essay of approximately 5,000 words in length, assessed by the supervisor

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Developed research proposal, argument, and bibliography

Requires students to demonstrate understanding of key issues, theories and literature, and clarity around a provisional critical position on research question.  


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Research Essay

Requires students to critically analyse an important debate in the field and to develop a coherent and argument in relation to it.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Texts will be chosen in consultation with the supervising member of staff.

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