POLIS 3106 - Public Policy Research Project

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

This capstone course for the major in Politics and International Relations introduces students to structured academic research methods and practice in selected areas of International Studies. First, it aims at developing students' advanced research skills through the examination of research methodologies and academic writing skills, as well as the exploration of ethical and intercultural issues that may arise in the course of a scholarly research. Second, it engages students in critical discussions regarding research methods and conceptual approaches through four case studies: invited academics will share with students their research skills by presenting their own research projects, including these projects' design, methodology, theoretical framework and larger significance. Third, during the second part of the course, students will undertake a significant research project on a self-chosen topic and, at the end of the course, join a student conference in order to present and discuss their research findings to and with their classmates.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 3106
    Course Public Policy Research Project
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites At least 15 units of Politics and International Relations Major courses
    Restrictions Available to students undertaking a Politics and International Relations Major only
    Assessment Essay (5000 word) 70%, 3 x Paper critique (1000 word) 10% each
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Priya Chacko

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1. Recognize key methodologies to the study of Politics and  International Relations

    2 Constructively critique published research

    3 Develop high-level research skills in Politics and International Relations

    4 Research issues in Politics and International Relations in an in-depth manner

    5 Recognise common ethical problems which may arise during the research process and develop appropriate strategies to cope with them

    6 Write a substantial and coherent research essay informed by appropriate theory and methodology

    7 Participate in group discussions and communicate their research findings

    8 Demonstrate career readiness and leadership skills appropriate for beginning professional practice, including lifelong learning skills characterised by academic rigour, self-direction and intellectual independence

    9 Navigate the large amounts of research material through both traditional academic sources and through the use of information technology
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-4, 6
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1-7, 9
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course readings will be made available online
    Online Learning
    The MyUni site contains announcements, course readings, seminar notes, an online discussion forum, and links to useful websites. You should check this site regularly.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Seminars will focus on problem-solving and enhancing students’ academic literacies and research methods through workshops with academic practitioners.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    6 x 2 hours seminars/workshops                                         12 hours per semester
    5 hours assignment preparation for 6 weeks                        30 hours per semester
    20 hours research project preparation per week                 240 hours per semester
    Conference preparation, presentation and participation         32 hours per semester

    Total: 314 hours per semester

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1: Introduction to academic research in International Relations
    Week 2: Literature review
    Week 3: Methodology
    Week 4: Workshop 1
    Week 5: Workshop 2
    Week 6: Workshop 3
    Week 7: Individual research + consultations
    Week 8: Individual research + consultations
    Week 9: Individual research + consultations
    Week 10: Individual research + consultations
    Week 11: Individual research + consultations
    Week 12: Research conference
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will be organized in groups of 4 to 6 and tasked with discussing assigned questions within their groups and communicating with mentors
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    1. 1,000 word research proposal



    2. 5,000 research essay



    3. Conference presentation


    Assessment Detail
    5,000 word research project on a self-chosen topic – 65% weighting
    1,000 word research proposal on a self-chosen topic - 20% weighting
    Conference presentation (communication of research findings) - 15% weighting
    For submission details, refer to the Course Guide
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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