The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


GEOS4440 is a workshop-based and self-directed course that develops a student's skills in compiling and presenting the Honours research thesis and defining the thesis results at a viva voce. It is conducted on an individual basis by the student's Honours research supervisor(s) and via a workshop on thesis writing and thesis seminar presentation in the Earth Sciences. The course operates in conjunction with GEOS4430 which is devoted to data analysis and presentation. GEOS4440 focuses on the discussion and presentation of the research findings, their reconciliation with existing the existing literature and the development of written and graphic material. This culminates in the submission of a written thesis.

The course also involves developing and delivering a seminar presenting the major research findings made by the student. The student's work is subjected to critical oral review by examiners and other staff and peers. The seminar provides the students with an opportunity to defend their results and interpretation. The course culminates in the submission of a post-examination corrected thesis.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Advanced competency in developing and communicating research findings in a 100-page thesis.

2. Capacity to structure and formulate arguments by written, graphic and oral means.

3. Capacity to carrying advanced levels of data analysis.

4. Capacity to communicate research findings that positions conclusions within a student's overall field of enquiry.

5. Research skills necessary to undertake higher-level and post-graduate research and writing.


One workshop will cover the practicalities of thesis compilation: what to include and what to exclude, getting the balance right with respect to chapter content, the distinction between 'results' and 'discussion', keeping the thesis's aims and objectives at the forefront of the discussion, consideration of areas for further research, and identifying limitations of one's approach. Each student will have the opportunity to present their thesis outline and to raise problems that relate to their individual plight. Staff and peers will discuss possible solution with individual candidates.

Assumed knowledge

A major in Earth Sciences or Environmental Science and Management with a credit average at 3000 level.

Assessment items

Thesis: Written Research Thesis

Presentation: Oral Thesis presentation

Presentation: Oral Thesis Defence

Literature Review: Written literature review and research proposal for thesis

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Workshop: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

Contact hours


Self-Directed Learning

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


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


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