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HMT4006 Advanced Theories and Debates in the Discipline

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Honours Theories and Debates
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090305 - History
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 24 September 2021


Examiner: Daniel Hourigan


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


The aim of this course is to provide Honours students in Arts and Communications with a sound interdisciplinary understanding of key theories and contemporary debates in the humanities, social sciences, and communications. The course seeks to develop a cohort of honours graduates that demonstrate not only expertise in their chosen discipline, but a nuanced familiarity with theoretical constructs significant to other cognate academic disciplines. This course encourages a dynamic, nimble, and collaborative approach to critical theory and contemporary debates that are of significance across a range of disciplines, and for which interdisciplinarity will facilitate innovative solutions and problem-solving in scholarly and professional contexts.


This course exposes developing research students to the key debates and theories within their specific disciplines and within cognate disciplines located within the humanities, social sciences and communications. Students will be given an overview of theoretical debates in a variety of disciplines, before focusing on the influential theorists of their own discipline area. This allows honours students to develop their theoretical research knowledge in order to engage in scholarly debates within and across disciplines and to progress towards higher degree research. Students will develop a range of professional and scholarly skills by participating in workshops, online discussions, and peer debate.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. examine theories and debates and apply higher level skills in their discipline study area in the social sciences, humanities and communications;
  2. critically evaluate different solutions to solve higher level problems;
  3. apply advanced written and verbal communication skills;
  4. critique complex theories, concepts, and processes across a variety of disciplines, as well as within their own discipline;
  5. critically evaluate the subject, purpose and methodology of disciplinary texts.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Disciplinary theories and debates 90.00
2. Professional presentation skills 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. (

Weekly readings will be available via the LoR and StudyDesk.

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.
Nealon, J and Giroux, SS 2012, The theory toolbox: critical concepts for the humanities, arts, and social sciences, 2nd edn, Lanham, Md: Rowman and Little.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 78.00
Private Study 252.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
COMPARATIVE ESSAY 100 20 20 Sep 2021
PARTICIPATION 100 30 22 Oct 2021

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities 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 in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. forms part of the Bachelor of Arts Honours and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at .

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 24 September 2021