The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


FMCS4040 is the second part of the thesis component of the Film, Media and Cultural Studies Honours year, the first being FMCS4030. The honours thesis gives students the opportunity to put the skills they have acquired over the course of their undergraduate studies into advanced practice in the form of a substantial project. This project can be in one of three formats: 1) Academic, 2) Work-Integrated Learning, or 3) Creative/Digital.

Option 1) Academic

This option entails the researching and writing of a 15,000-word academic thesis on a disciplinary or interdisciplinary topic determined in consultation with an assigned supervisor with expertise in the relevant discipline/s. The thesis will engage critically with recent scholarship in the field, offer a systematic and comprehensive account of the topic, and embody the standards of argumentation, writing, and referencing in the relevant discipline field/s.

Option 2) Work-Integrated Learning

The Work-Integrated Learning option allows students to undertake a substantial research-based project for, or in collaboration with, an approved workplace wholly or largely dedicated to the discipline, pre-approved by the supervisor. Students will compile a 5,000-8,000-word portfolio documenting the findings and outcomes of the project, write a 500-word description of the workplace and its key characteristics (to be endorsed by the workplace supervisor), and produce a weekly reflective journal totalling 2000 words.

Option 3) Creative/Digital

The Creative/Digital option enables students to engage in practice-led research resulting in a creative work or, alternatively, use new media formats to develop and communicate a research project. Requiring pre-approval by the supervisor, this option entails substantial individual research effort within the chosen discipline. The completed work will consist of a creative/digital portfolio equivalent to 12,000 words, accompanied by a 3,000-word written analysis outlining the background, aims, methods, and theoretical foundation of the research.

Across its three variants, the thesis component of the Honours year is intended to develop and strengthen professional skills, challenge students intellectually, and round off their undergraduate studies with higher-level independent studies designed to be useful in many fields of future endeavour.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Apply advanced disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary skills in the design and production of a research project.

2. Critically employ relevant theories and methods.

3. Engage in Arts-based research with an awareness of how the Humanities disciplines contribute to cultural and work-based debates around topical socio-cultural and political issues.

4. Formulate an extended critical argument drawing on discipline and/or interdisciplinary knowledge.

5. Demonstrate advanced skills in communicating research.


The thesis project will be pre-approved by, and developed in consultation with, the student’s supervisor.


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

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

- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) [40209].

Assumed knowledge

At least a credit average performance in Film, Media and Cultural Studies courses as a major sequence.

Assessment items

Thesis: Thesis (100%)

Contact hours


Individual Supervision

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 18 hour(s) per Week for Full Term