The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



20 units


4000 level

Course handbook


The Honours program provides students with an opportunity to pursue their undergraduate studies to a high level in an additional year of research-orientated study. It gives students a strong base from which to pursue further study or to gain employment that requires high-level conceptual, analytic, research and communication skills. Students undertaking the fourth year will expand their knowledge of an area of study to a degree not possible within a three-year course.

The course operates in conjunction with SPSW4010 and SPSW4020 and is largely concerned with data collection and analysis and involves completing a plan and first drafts of some sections.



    Learning outcomes

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

    1. Demonstrate a grounded knowledge of Social policy as a domain of social science theory, practice and inquiry.

    2. Demonstrate a capacity to comprehend key intellectual issues, debates and problematics in social policy studies.

    3. Demonstrate an ability to comprehend and apply techniques of evaluating, analysing and synthesising complex academic and social phenomena.

    4. Display and apply skills necessary to posit, interrogate and answer a significant research question through the sophisticated use of appropriate theory and method.

    5. Demonstrate appropriate skills required to produce and present an insightful and critically reflective thesis in Social Policy Studies after devising and executing a program of study and research to the required Honours standard.

    6. Display core competencies in the writing of an extensive and sophisticated text deriving from the developed capacity to apply, systemically and rigorously, the principles of critical scholarship within a broad social policy framework.


    Supervision of students in:

    • Structuring a thesis text to communicate logically the outcomes of a student's research project
    • Developing logical and coherent arguments and conclusions within a text that are adequately supported by appropriate evidence
    • Use of techniques involving selection of multiple drafting, editing and use of appropriate analytical language to communicate findings to an academic audience
    • Engagement in processes of relating specific findings to the overall concerns of Social Policy and Administration studies research
    • Encouragement and support of students to achieve a high level of analytical competence and strongest opportunity to pursue further research and study.


    This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) program.

    Assumed knowledge

    SPSW4010 and SPSW4020

    Assessment items

    Project: Supervised work towards thesis

    Contact hours


    Individual Supervision

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

    Self-Directed Learning

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

    Contact Hours by arrangement with Supervisor