Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


All PHTY3XX coded units, PHTY415 Preparation for Physiotherapy Honours and PHTY416 - Research Methods for Physiotherapy Honours

Teaching organisation

300 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is the capstone of the Honours program. Having designed a research project the next steps are to coordinate and conduct the project; analyse, interpret and discuss the findings; and disseminate this information. This unit builds on the work students have undertaken in PHTY415 (Preparation for Physiotherapy Honours) and PHTY416 (Research Methods for Physiotherapy Honours). Students will work autonomously and collaboratively with their research project supervisor(s) to complete a research project, synthesise, critically analyse and consolidate the research data and, present the research findings demonstrating high level scientific written and oral communication skills. Throughout the completion of the research project students will be expected to demonstrate a high level of responsibility and accountability for their own learning and in collaboration with others. This unit aims to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate advanced research knowledge and skills which can be applied in clinical contexts.

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 - Conduct a research project that will effectively answer a relevant question, including the conduct of all required interventions and analysis of resultant data (GA3, GA5, GA7, GA8)

LO2 - Demonstrate ability to conduct research in a systematic and scientific manner according to relevant ethical principles (GA3, GA5, GA7)

LO3 - Synthesise, critically analyse, and consolidate research data to develop new understanding of the research findings (GA4, GA8)

LO4 - Demonstrate high level scientific written and oral communication skills for dissemination of research (GA9)

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 


Students will complete a research project chosen in consultation with their supervisor. Students will be required to collect and collate research data, conduct analyses, interpret the results and discuss the implications of the findings relative to the research question/s.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

In this unit, students will work both independently and in collaboration with their supervisor(s). Students will be mentored and supported in their learning by their supervisor(s) who will provide regular guidance and maintain contact with the student. Supervisors will demonstrate respect for and encourage the student as an independent learner. 

Students will be supported in their learning by their supervisor(s) who will provide regular guidance and maintain contact with the student.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategies for this unit consist of an oral presentation, a written Honours thesis and a student independence mark provided by the student’s supervisor. The oral presentation and submission of a thesis require the student to demonstrate high level communication skills to disseminate the conduct of, results from, and implications of the findings of their research. The supervisor evaluation will reflect the level of the student’s autonomy, and ability to work independently and collaboratively with their supervisor during their research. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Oral presentation: 

Requires students to demonstrate high level oral communication and visual presentation skills when communicating the conduct of, results from and, implications of the findings of their research project.


LO3, LO4

GA3, GA5, GA7, GA9

An Honours Thesis:  

Journal article 

Literature review (from PHTY415) 

Expanded methods section 

Requires students to demonstrate high level scientific writing skills when communicating the conduct of, results from and, implications of the findings of their research project. 

5000-7000 words 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9 

Student independence mark:  

Requires students to demonstrate the ability to work both under supervision/collaboratively with their supervisor and autonomously.




Representative texts and references

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

Herbert, R., Jamtvedt, G., Birgerhagen, K., and Mead, J. (2011). Practice evidence-based physiotherapy. 2nd Ed. London: Butterworth Heinemann. 

Hickson, M. (2008). Research handbook for health care professionals, (1st ed.). Location: Wiley. 

Hulley, S., Cummings, S., Browner W.S., Grady, D.G., Newman, T.B. (2013). Designing clinical research (4th ed.). Location: Wolters Kluwer. 

Polgar, S., & Thomas, S. (2013). Introduction to research in the health sciences, (6th ed.). Location: Elsevier 

Portney, L.G., & Watkins, M.P. (2009). Foundations of clinical research: Applications to practice, (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall Health. 

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