Not currently offered
Course code



20 units


4000 level

Course handbook


ABOR4040 must be studied in conjunction with ABOR4010, ABOR4020 and ABOR4030, which together comprise the full Aboriginal Studies Honours program.

The thesis embodies an original investigation on an approved topic and requires the student to demonstrate competence in negotiating with Aboriginal communities/people, culturally appropriate fieldwork, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data and the presentation of results to both the community/organisation/people involved in the research project and the University.

It is imperative that students have a fundamental understanding of certain aspects of research, research protocols, Indigenous protocols, research methodologies and ethics before they undertake their research project in Aboriginal organisations/communities.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2018.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Critically analyse methodologies, policies and protocols for conducting research with Indigenous peoples or people on Indigenous lands, waters and territories (in Australia and internationally);

2. Understand and recognise the underlying principles regarding Indigenous knowledges and Eurocentric protection of intellectual property and cultural heritage;

3. Understand and apply the underlying principles and ethical protocols in the research process from an Indigenous perspective;

4. Develop written and oral communication skills appropriate for a professional scholarly environment;

5. Conduct culturally appropriate research with Aboriginal peoples, communities & organisations or research on Indigenous lands, waters and territories;

6. Write and present research outcomes in a way that makes a difference to Indigenous peoples' understanding and appreciation of the research process.


The Honours program in Aboriginal Studies focuses on 'Indigenous Knowledge and the Conduct of Culturally Appropriate Research'. It introduces students to a variety of concepts including Indigenous people's experiences of research.

The program consists of three principal elements:

  1. 'Indigenist' research, and the relationship between Indigenous knowledges and Eurocentric thought.
  2. Comparative Indigenous Studies: requires students to further their knowledge of an Indigenous group outside Australia within their chosen field of study.
  3. The research and composition of a minor thesis demonstrating the ability to analyse and reflect upon an approved study area.


To enrol into this course students must be active in the following programs:

- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) [10214], or

- Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) [10726], or

- Bachelor of Aboriginal Studies (Honours) [11435], or

- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) [40209].

Assumed knowledge

At least a credit average performance in the Bachelor of Aboriginal Studies or at least a credit average in Aboriginal Studies courses as a major sequence for the Bachelor of Arts. Students must have qualified for admission to the Bachelor of Aboriginal Studies, Bachelor of Arts, or equivalent degree. International students will be considered eligible for admission to the Honours program, on the basis of completion of an appropriate tertiary qualification, equivalent to a Bachelors degree, in a related area.

Assessment items

Thesis: Minor Thesis

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.