USQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

HMT4007 Becoming a Researcher

Semester 1, 2020 Online
Short Description: Becoming a Researcher
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100700 - Communication & Media Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Daniel Hourigan


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MARA or BAHN or BCAH

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course. This course is designed for students preparing to undertake a large research project (eg thesis or exegesis). It assumes that students have an idea for this project in mind at the beginning of the course.


Honours and Masters level students currently undertaking communications, creative arts, humanities and social sciences require knowledge of a range of techniques for researching and writing. This course introduces students to the skills to be able to survey a field of literature, identify a research problem, decide on research objectives and select appropriate method/s to carry out the research. It will also assist students in developing an awareness of discipline-specific requirements, such as the need to ensure epistemological consistency between their aims, methodologies, data collection and analysis of results in a manner appropriate to their discipline areas.


Students will explore the practical skills and methodological choices necessary and available to researchers in communications, creative arts, humanities and social sciences. They will also examine the processes and requirements of research project management, including articulating a research focus, finding and reviewing relevant literature, and structuring and presenting a long research project in both written and oral form. Students will also investigate different methods, methodologies and theories and discuss their values and uses for developing research in these disciplines.


On successful completion of this course students will have:

  1. identify a unique research question or problem;
  2. be aware of how academic theses are presented and planned;
  3. critique existing research from a range of critical perspectives;
  4. evaluate and defend a methodology of research appropriate to their chosen topic;
  5. apply a knowledge of the appropriate use of informed consent and ethical clearance documentation;
  6. present an overview of their proposed project.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Research in the discipline areas 25.00
2. Structure and argument 20.00
3. Reviewing the literature 20.00
4. Understanding and selecting method and methodology 25.00
5. Presenting the thesis 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Texts and Materials will be advised by staff in the Honours program and will be available for download from the Study Desk page.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Anderson, J & Poole, M 2001, Assignment and thesis writing, 4th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Qld.
Ballenger, B 2015, The curious researcher: a guide to writing research papers, 8th edn, Allyn & Bacon, Needham Heights, MA.
Barzun, J & Graff, H 2004, The modern researcher, 6th edn, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, San Diego.
Burkle-Young, FA & Maleny, SR 1997, The research guide for the digital age: a new handbook for researching and writing for the serious student, University Press of America, Lanham, MD.
Clarke, A 1999, Evaluation research: an introduction to principles, methods and practice, Sage, London.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 270.00
Private Study 60.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ESSAY 500 WORDS 100 10 16 Mar 2020
ESSAY 1500 WORDS 100 40 27 Apr 2020
ESSAY 3000 WORDS 100 50 01 Jun 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures and tutorials) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Date printed 19 June 2020