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SWSP4033 Honours Thesis

Level: Bachelor (Honours)
Credit Points: 12 out of 192
Prerequisites: SWSP4003 
Mode(s) of delivery: Online
Core/elective: Core

Unit Description

Research Project has been designed to support you and provide you with the necessary supervision to implement the research on the topic you have prepared as part of SWSP4003. The unit will give students an opportunity to explore the research process in practice and to conduct a small research project either individually or as part of a group. Students will gain an understanding of the steps required to implement a research project employing qualitative or quantitative methods.

Unit Workload

The workload for this unit is 18 hours per week. This includes fortnightly group supervision sessions, fortnightly individual supervision, and private study time. The unit involves twelve weeks group discussion online and self- or group-directed research. This time will be used for interactions with students to facilitate discussion of the challenges and learnings associated with implementing the research. Some of this will include group tutorials revising topics such as data collection, analysis, and presentation. In addition to the fortnightly 1.5 hours of class time, students are expected to engage in 16.5 hours of self- or group-directed research per fortnight.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate the components required to undertake a research project.
  2. Reflect on the challenges of implementing a research project
  3. Apply the theoretical insights developed during SWSP4003
  4. Reflect and resolve ethical issues as they occur in practice
  5. Write a research project

Learning and Teaching Approach

  1. Learning is an active process – which involves both questioning and challenging.
  2. Learning is a shared process – where others’ thoughts and ideas are presented, critically analysed, exchanged and respected.
  3. Learning is a collaborative and empowering process for self and others.
  4. Learning is thoughtful and reflective.
  5. Learning requires integration with prior knowledge and other arenas of knowledge development in the program.
  6. Preparation for lectures and seminars and reading the recommended texts and references is essential.

The content of this unit has been designed to maximise both online and face-to-face learning to integrate the subject matter.

Students are expected to:

  • Complete all activities
  • Complete readings
  • Complete all assessments
  • Attend all classes

It is also recommended that students:

  • Keep a record of new terminology that is introduced in this unit
  • Keep a copy of assessments and other correspondence
  • Make notes on unit content and readings

There will be learning activities linked to all lecture materials which are designed to encourage students to deliberate and reflect and to provide opportunities for further learning. The activities are designed to help students think through and practise the specific skills and general concepts presented in this unit as well as provide valuable learning opportunities.


Recommended Text

  • Bell, J, Waters, S. (2014). Doing your Research Project: A guide for first-time researchers (6th ed.).  McGraw Hill Education.

Recommended Readings

  • Berger, A. A. (2005) Media analysis techniques (3rd ed.).  Sage. (or another book on media analysis)
  • Boyatzis, R. E. (1998). Transforming qualitative information: thematic analysis and code development.  Sage Publications.
  • Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide through Qualitative Analysis. Sage Publications.
  • Guest, G., MacQueen, K. M., Namey, E. E. (2012). Applied thematic analysis.  Sage Publications 2012
  • Johnson, R.B., Christensen, L. (2015) Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches (6th ed.), Sage, pp.603-637.
  • Kruger, R., Casey, M. A. (2015) Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research (5th Edition). Sage.
  • Morris, A. (2015) A Practical Introduction to In-Depth Interviewing. Sage.


  • Action Research (SAGE)
  • ADVANCES: Journal of Social Work and Welfare Education
  • Australian Journal of Social Issues
  • Australian Social Work
  • British Journal of Social Work
  • Critical Social Work
  • Health and Social Care in the Community (UK)
  • Journal of Social Work (UK)
  • Journal of Social Work Education (USA)
  • Journal of Sociology and Social Work
  • Qualitative Social Work
  • Research on Social Work Practice
  • Social Justice Research
  • Systemic Practice and Action Research

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 the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


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 trimester. For a list of required textbooks for the upcoming trimester, please click here.