Available in 2021
Course code



20 units


4000 level

Course handbook


SCHS4120 is the second part of the thesis component of the Bachelor of Social Science (Hons), the first being SCHS4110. The honours thesis gives students the opportunity to put the skills they have acquired over the course of their undergraduate studies and the honours coursework 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- 20,000 word academic thesis on a topic determined in consultation with an assigned supervisor who has expertise in the discipline of anthropology or sociology. 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 social science field.

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 8,000-10,000 word report 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 reflective journal with weekly entries totalling 2,000 words.

Identifying an external partner and negotiating terms will be the responsibility of the student in close consultation with the supervisor.

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 10,000-12,000 words, accompanied by a 6,000-8,000 word exegesis outlining the background, aims, methods and theoretical foundation of the project and developing a critical analysis of the scholarship relevant to the project.

The total word count in all the above options will be equivalent to 15,000-20,000 words.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021
  • Semester 2 - 2021

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): CRIM4120, HIST4080, HUSE4120, LING4080 and SOCA4120. Students who have successfully completed CRIM4120, HIST4080, HUSE4120, LING4080 or SOCA4120 are not eligible to enrol in SCHS4120.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Use interpersonal and teamwork skills to maintain a professional relationship with a mentor.

2. Use disciplinary specific conventions to communicate research methods and procedures to an academic audience.

3. Structure and formulate arguments at macro and micro levels to the equivalent of a 15,000-20,000 words thesis.

4. Communicate research design that illustrates the alignment of research problems and research methods with an explanatory theoretical and epistemic framework.

5. Use data collection skills and procedures necessary to generate defendable research finding.


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


Students cannot enrol in this course if they have previously successfully completed

CRIM4120 Honours Thesis 2 or

HIST4080 Honours Thesis 2 or

HUSE4120 Honours Thesis 2 or

LING4080 Honours Thesis 2 or

SOCA4120 Honours Thesis 2.

Students must have successfully completed:

SCHS4090 Societies, Cultures and Human Services Honours I and

SCHS4100 Societies, Cultures and Human Services Honours II

Students must be active in

Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) [10726]

Assumed knowledge

At least a credit average performance in Social Science 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

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.