COUN6071 Independent Project

Master Course Unit

COUN6071 Independent Project

Level: Masters

Credit points: 4

Prerequisites: Research Practices and Methodologies

Unit description

This unit is a collaborative project involving students, the college and organisations of various kinds in public, private and non-government sectors. Independent projects enable students to develop advanced professional knowledge and competencies and to integrate theory and practice within their chosen profession in a way that is relevant and appropriate to their ongoing personal and professional goals. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on their practice in order to identify and systematically explore and analyse specific interests, issues, or problems they face in either organisational or practice contexts. The independent project will be constituted by a systematic process of design, implementation, analysis, evaluation, and communication of findings. Critical reflection on the project process and outcomes will additionally contribute to students’ learning and personal and professional development.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • reflect critically on their current practice in order to identify a specific professional, clinical or organisational interest, issue or problem to be addressed in the project
  • design and carry out independently a project to address the identified issue
  • justify the proposed project in terms of its relationship to current knowledge and professional best practice
  • integrate information, resources, observations and critical reflection with other learning (skills and theories) to formulate a project proposal
  • combine relevant resources, information, analysis and reflection into a project report, which draws valid conclusions about the interest, issue, or problem identified in the proposal
  • communicate effectively the project outcomes to stakeholders
  • appreciate and understand the ways in which social, political, economic and organisational contexts can influence professional practice

Unit content

  • Getting Started
  • Questions, Ethics and Research Approach
  • Project Proposal
  • Project Management
  • Literature Review
  • Gathering the Information
  • Initial Findings of the Project
  • Presenting your Findings
  • Drafting the Report
  • Finalising your Report
  • Communcating the Project Outcomes
  • Critical Reflection

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 13 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Literature Review




Research Report




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C., & Tight, M. (2006). How to research (3rd ed). Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.