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Unit Weighting                       

9 cps

Type of Unit                

Generic (Teaching)


36 credit points in any discipline

Academic Staff                        


Curriculum Objectives

This graduate course unit introduces students to the procedures and skills required to research a topic, critically evaluate research materials, organise information, and prepare a research proposal.  It is a prerequisite for X9692 Research Project, X9696 Research Essay, and X8598 Honours Thesis but may be taken by any qualified student. It focuses on the research, organisation, ethical issues, and writing skills that the student will need to prepare an acceptable research essay or thesis. Applicants for SCD research degree programs are required to have completed this unit at distinction level or demonstrate equivalence in achievement.


  1. Methods of academic research and writing: quantitative and qualitative analysis, exegetical methodologies, etc.
  2. Methods of assembling a bibliography of current, relevant resources for the topic of the research essay.
  3. Methods of data gathering and analysis.
  4. Review of the key bibliographic (and other) resources within the discipline specialisation of the student researcher.
  5. Selecting the topic, planning the research project, and writing a proper research and ethics proposal.
  6. Academic standards for referencing, for essay formatting and for writing style.

Assessment Profile

  1. Extended bibliography (1,500 words). Value: 30%
  2. Summary of a patristic text (1,000 words). Value: 20%
  3. Critical review of a monograph (1,500 words). Value: 30%
  4. Research proposal (1,000 words). Value: 20%

Research proposals (including ethical considerations where relevant) and bibliographies related to enrolment in X9696 Research Essay and X8598 Honours Thesis must be assessed by a marker appointed by the SCD Research Committee that must be given two months’ notice of the intended date of submission for assessment. The marker will also advise the student on any further action concerning ethical issues.