Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

This unit will be offered via individual supervision. As such, it will involve 150 hours of focused reading and thinking, including discussion with the student’s supervisor, and preparation of assessment. 

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit provides students with the opportunity to research, under supervision, a specific topic 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 bioethical research and further knowledge of specialised aspects of the discipline.

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Develop a research question in dialogue with a supervisor
LO2Research a particular area in some depth, being able to identify and give an informed, critical perspective on key questions pertaining to the topic, using appropriate literature
LO3Complete a piece of critical theological/philosophical writing in response to a research question, using the conventions of academic English, including appropriate referencing


Topics will depend on the area under investigation.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit will be offered via individual supervision. As such, it will involve 150 hours of focused reading and thinking, including discussion with the student’s supervisor, and preparation of assessment. Through the provision of supervisory support, students will be assisted to meet all three of the unit learning outcomes. Such support will include 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.

Underlying the teaching and learning strategy are constructivist and andragogical principles which emphasise that students are active, adult learners who engage best when what they are learning is relevant to them and they are responsible for their own learning.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy for this unit has been designed to examine students’ understanding of the issues and theories under consideration, as well as their ability to critically analyse them. The learning outcomes will normally be 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 Outcomes

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

Research Report

Requires students to critically analyse an important debate in the field, develop a coherent argument in relation to it, and present their findings in essay or multimedia format.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

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

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