Available in 2022
Course code



20 units


4000 level

Course handbook


This course develops basic research skills in development studies. The course is conducted under the direct supervision of an academic staff member who is also the student's honours research supervisor. The course builds skills and competencies in research design including literature reviews, identification of research questions, methodological approaches, data collection and analysis, discussion and communication skills, mapping and graphics preparation skills.



  • Semester 1 - 2022
  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. A comprehension of procedures for undertaking a successful research project within development studies.

2. The capacity to identify research issues and frame research questions in the context of existing scholarship, resources and policy environments.

3. A thorough understanding of method of reviewing literature in the student?s field. Capacity to identify relevant texts and openings within research fields for original and high quality analytical research

4. The capacity to formulate appropriate boundaries to a research project and identify appropriate data, methods and processes to undertake critical analysis.


  1. Identifying relevant literature within development studies and other relevant disciplines in order to frame and situate a research question


  1. Undertaking a literature review including:
  • Identifying key texts
  • Evaluating arguments and evidence
  • Providing rationale for inclusion of relevant material
  • Clear communication of uses made of relevant materials
  • Identification of limits of existing literature and role of thesis and research in contributing to the field


  1. Designing appropriate research design and methodology
  • Formulation of research and theoretical questions
  • Identification of appropriate methods and boundaries for research project
  • Use of critical and analytical thinking for formulating initial arguments, questions or hypotheses.

Assumed knowledge

Completion of Bachelor of Development Studies with credit grades or above in core 2000 and 3000 courses.

Assessment items

Presentation: Research proposal presentation and defence

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Hours by arrangement with supervisor. To be run as an integrated learning session

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

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.