Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total includes meetings with the Lecturer in charge, both individually and with other enrolled students, reading, research, and the preparation and submission of tasks for assessment. 

Unit rationale, description and aim

In this capstone unit that is taken towards the end of their degree, students work under the supervision of an academic member of staff as they pursue a scaffolded advanced undergraduate research project. Students are required to draw on a range of concepts and methodologies covered in the course of their studies to identify, analyse and evaluate a contemporary problem/s, or to intervene in a contemporary debate. This unit provides students with an opportunity to reflect on and deploy knowledge, ideas and skills acquired over the duration of their degree and to creatively consolidate and apply them. In providing them with an opportunity to demonstrate a broad and coherent theoretical and technical knowledge with depth in one or more disciplines or areas of practice, the unit also provides students contemplating application for enrolment in the Honours program with an early research experience. 

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
LO1Apply knowledge, skills, and ideas learned through the degree to a current theological, exegetical, or social problem
LO2Analyse a variety of perspectives on key theological, exegetical, or philosophical problems
LO3Develop coherent, well-researched and methodologically consistent positions on the selected research problem
LO4Communicate findings in well-structured and persuasive arguments


The content of the unit will vary, based on the selected area under investigation and the nature of the enquiry. Topics will be identified and determined by the Lecturer in Charge. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit is normally offered in online scheduled mode. Students learn through scaffolded discussions and learning activities that support the achievement of the learning outcomes. Students are asked to critically reflect, analyse, and integrate new information with existing knowledge, draw meaningful new connections, and then apply what they have learned. Collaborative and peer learning is also emphasised. The learning activities enable students to acquire and assimilate knowledge through application of, and critical reflection on, modern methodological approaches. 

This unit emphasises students as active learners. Students are recognised as adult learners who engage best when what they are learning is relevant to them and gives them the opportunity to be responsible for their own learning. In many ways, the student is the one who drives the learning forward. Active participation in this unit, and consistent work through the semester, is essential. Learning is designed to be an engaging and supportive experience, which helps students to develop critical thinking and reflection skills.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome. Given the alignment of learning outcomes to the assessment tasks, in order to pass this unit students are required to attempt all assessment tasks and achieve an overall mark of 50% or higher.  

Task 1 asks students to reflect critically on knowledge, skills, and ideas they have acquired over the duration of their degree in order to identify and/or describe a research problem, communicate its significance, and begin to outline a response and/or method for addressing it. This task is designed to allow students to display achievement of Learning Outcomes 1 and 2. Feedback provided from Task 1 will help students with the other two assessment tasks.  

Task 2 asks students to demonstrate fundamental knowledge and research skills identifying a range of scholarly literature appropriate for their research project and critically analysing the methods and perspectives represented therein. The principal focus of this task is to allow students to display achievement of Learning Outcomes 2 and 3.  

Task 3 asks students to communicate an original response to a selected research topic and to attempt to resolve scholarly debates encountered in the course of their research. In doing so, students are encouraged to consolidate knowledge, skills, and ideas they have acquired over the duration of their degree. This task is to allow students to display achievement of all Learning Outcomes.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Reflective task

Requires students to reflect on their learning throughout the degree in order to identify and/or describe a research problem, communicate its significance, and begin to outline a response and/or method for addressing it.


LO1, LO2

Research and analysis task

Requires students to demonstrate independent research, critical thinking, and evaluative skills.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Major research task

Requires students to demonstrate their ability to communicate an original response to a current theological, exegetical or philosophical problem.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Allen, Paul L., Theological Method. London: T&T Clark, 2012.

D'Oro, Giuseppina and Søren Overgaard (eds). The Cambridge Companion to Philosophical Methodology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Kim, Yung Suk. Biblical Interpretation: Theory, Process, and Criteria. Eugene: Pickwick, 2013.

Virkler, Henry A. and Karolynne Gerber Ayayo. Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation, 2nd edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007.

*Additional texts and references appropriate to specific research topics will be identified by the supervisor in consultation with the student. 

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