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«Congratulations on being enrolled as an Honours student in the School of Community Health at Charles Sturt University. We hope you find your Honours ...»

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School of Community Health

Integrated Honours Handbook


Dear Honours student,

Congratulations on being enrolled as an Honours student in the School of Community

Health at Charles Sturt University.

We hope you find your Honours study to be intellectually stimulating and rewarding,

and a time of personal growth.

This handbook is designed to provide information about the Integrated Honours

program in the School of Community Health. Subject outlines for the two Honours subjects, HLT333 and HLT441, are available on the respective Interact sites and provide additional information specific to these subjects and assessment tasks.

Charles Sturt University seeks to achieve its mission by producing high quality research of regional significance and international distinction. As an Honours student, we hope you will make a meaningful contribution to practice knowledge in allied health.

Please keep this aim forefront in your mind during your two-year Honours journey!

Along with the School’s academic and administrative staff, we wish you all the best in your Honours studies.

Dr Kylie Murphy Linda Beverly School Honours Coordinator School Honours Administrator Disclaimer The information and advice contained here should be accurate at the time of printing. However, because this booklet is intended to apply for two years after its initial production and some changes over that two year period are inevitable, students should note updated material that will be provided in subject outlines and subject forum postings.


General administrative information

Aims and objectives of the course


Commencement and completion of the course

Withdrawal from Honours

Structure of the Honours courses

Integration with workplace learning



Allocation of supervisors

Working with your supervisor(s)

Responsibilities of Honours Supervisors

Roles of a Principal Supervisor

Roles of a Co-Supervisor

Changing your topic, supervisor(s), or enrolment status



Responsibilities of an Honours student

Code of conduct for research

Research presentations


Recommended books, articles, web sites, and bibliographic databases...... 20 THE DISSERTATION

Ethics approval

Preparing and presenting the dissertation

Drafts of the dissertation

Due date for submission


Extensions and late submissions

Submission of copies for examination

Assessment of the dissertation

Classes of Honours (Final Honours Grade)

Additional Assessment (AA) or Additional Examination (AE)


Feedback to students


Publications and presentations arising from your research


Complaints / grievance procedures

Quality assurance and improvement

Responsibilities at the end of the course


APPENDIX A – Model for first pages

APPENDIX B – Certificate of readiness

APPENDIX C – Dissertation Assessment Rubric


General administrative information

–  –  –

School office location Level 3, Gordon Beavan Building, Albury Campus An Honours degree in the School of Community Health Within the School of Community Health there are currently four separate Honours

courses. These are:

–  –  –

In many respects these courses are similar, so throughout this booklet the words course and courses will be used interchangeably. Because of the similarities among the courses, there is an overall Honours coordinator in the school.

Aims and objectives of the Honours degree There are a wide variety of Honours courses provided by a broad range of institutions and disciplines, throughout Australia. The primary educational objective of the Honours course is research training.

Honours in the School of Community Health is described as an ‘embedded Honours’;

that is, students undertake Honours whilst enrolled as an undergraduate student. This means that as an Honours student, you are required to complete Honours subjects and Honours research, in tandem with your other subjects required for your undergraduate degree.

The School of Community Health Honours course prepares graduates who will be critical consumers of research and able to design, conduct, and write up a research project. Not everyone who undertakes Honours plans to work as a researcher, but by studying Honours you will develop as a practitioner-researcher and be well placed to contribute to the professional knowledge base in the future.

The objectives of the SCH Honours course are:

 to provide a high quality research training for Allied Health students;

 to facilitate the development of Allied Health students as practitioner-researchers;

 to develop students’ awareness and skills as reflective practitioners; and  to involve students in the planning, development, conduct, and publication of research to advance disciplinary or inter-disciplinary knowledge in the health professions.

The key educational goals are to:

 provide knowledge and skills relevant to conducting research, especially for entry to higher degree courses;

 develop an advanced level of knowledge in an area of specialisation; and  further develop verbal and written communication skills relevant to advanced studies.

Benefits of doing an Honours course Most universities, including CSU, confer the following degrees: Bachelors, Honours, Masters, and Doctorates (PhDs and professional doctorates). Honours degrees may be seen as a stepping stone towards postgraduate research. Students who achieve a 1st class Honours (H1) or upper second (H2a) Honours degree would be considered for entry into a PhD or professional doctorate program, without completing a Masters degree.

There are many other, more specific, benefits associated with being an Honours


 you will experience great personal satisfaction through completing (and hopefully publishing) a major research project;

 your critical thinking and writing skills will be further refined;

 you will be individually mentored by your primary supervisor for two years;

 you will be well positioned to pursue publication of your research report or to present the findings of your research as a conference presentation;

 your curriculum vitae will be enhanced;

 you will be well positioned to progress to a higher degree;

 you will have an opportunity to see whether you might enjoy a research career;

 through the process of writing a research proposal and ethics application, you will gain experience useful for the preparation of research grant or scholarship applications;

 you will be in an advantaged position in the job market, especially for senior or management positions; and  you will have an expanded job market as you will be able to undertake research, project development, or evaluation work.

Entry into the course Honours courses are offered to only those students who have demonstrated high academic achievement during the first two years of their undergraduate Allied Health degree. In the School of Community Health at CSU, you will be invited to apply for the Honours program towards the end of your second year of study, if you have achieved a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5 or above. Potential Honours students are invited to attend two seminars during session two and the final selection of Honours students is confirmed during December.

Acceptance into the Honours program is dependent on the availability of suitable supervisors in your interest area as well as your academic record. The School Honours Co-ordinator is responsible for collating student applications, liaising with potential supervisors, and notifying students of the outcome of their application.

Scholarships CSU offers a range of scholarships but there are no specific scholarships available for Honours study. It is worth searching the scholarship list to see which ones you are eligible to apply for http://student.csu.edu.au/support/scholarships-grants/search Once in this site, enter Honours student in the search engine, and also try undergraduate student.

The Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme is available through SARRAH http://www.sarrah.org.au/site/index.cfm Commencement and completion of the course As an Honours student you will normally commence study on the first teaching day at the start of your 3rd year and complete Honours study with the submission of your dissertation in late September of the following year.

Withdrawal from Honours If at any time you feel that you are not coping with the Honours course, you should discuss your options at the earliest possible stage with your supervisor(s) and then with the Honours Co-odinator. If necessary, it is possible to amend your enrolment so that you move back into the Pass degree course from Honours. Depending on the stage of your studies you will normally be able to transfer credit from your Honours study, to avoid the need to undertake any additional subjects. You should be very aware of administrative dates for courses (eg. HECS census-dates). Late withdrawal from the Honours program, unless approved by the Head of School for documented and appropriate reasons, can be problematic. Provided you have met all of the other requirements, you will graduate with the usual Bachelor degree.

NOTE: Students must pass all Honours subjects in their discipline in order to remain in the Honours course. Failing an Honours subject will invoke Exclusion Regulation 2.6 of the university.

Structure of the Honours courses

There are two types of Honours degree offered at CSU:

“Add-on year” or “End-on year” – where students complete a three year pass degree, then complete their Honours course within the fourth year.

“Embedded” or “Integrated” – where students undertake their Honours course within the third and fourth years of their course, while also completing subjects from the pass degree.

The School of Community Health Honours course described in this handbook is an integrated (or embedded) Honours degree.

The course structures for Honours students in the School of Community Health are essentially identical to the course structures for pass degree students, except that one of the subjects in each session of third and fourth years is replaced by an Honours subject. In third year Honours you enrol in the 16-point subject, HLT333 Community Health Honours Research Preparation, which spans both sessions of third year. In fourth year you enrol in the 16-point subject HLT441 Community Health Honours Project / Dissertation, which spans the two sessions of that year.

These two subjects are described immediately below and the specific course structure for each discipline is outlined. Further information can be found in the respective Subject Outlines.

HLT333 Community Health Honours Research Preparation This subject develops your understanding of the research process. Over this year, you will progress from the identification of a research problem and development of a literature review, to planning your study and seeking ethics approval. During this period of learning you will formulate your research question, decide on an appropriate research design for your study, and defend your methodology (your reasoning for choosing your particular sampling method, data collection method, and data analysis method).

HLT441 Community Health Honours Project / Dissertation.

In this subject you will undertake the collection and analysis of data for your research project. The preparation of your dissertation comprises the bulk of the work for HLT441 and there are no formal class sessions scheduled. The final ‘Honours grade’ you receive for Honours is solely dependent on the mark awarded for your dissertation.

The standard of work required for a First Class Honours grade is described in the assessment rubric which can be found in the HLT441 Subject outline and in Appendix C at the back of this handbook.

The specific structure of each of the four Honours courses is described below.

Structure of the Occupational Therapy course

–  –  –

Integration with workplace learning You must plan very carefully for workplace learning to ensure adequate time for data collection, data analysis, and final preparation of your dissertation.

Please note these specific points to reduce the risk of conflict between Honours and

workplace learning:

 You must contact your workplace learning coordinator well in advance of the scheduled workplace learning; that is, as soon as you have a timeline for your project.

 Data collection may require you to be local to CSU and this must be negotiated prior to allocation of workplace learning sites. Physiotherapy students please note that this request is restricted to one five-week block in either 3rd or 4th year.

 It is unreasonable to request a local workplace learning site for any reason other than data collection; that is, so you can be close to your supervisors when writing your dissertation.

Please understand that enrolment in Honours does not entitle you to priority or special consideration in relation to the allocation of workplace learning.

Timeline Use the timeline provided here as a starting point for organising your Honours studies and related activities, including interactions with your supervisor(s).

The subject outlines for HLT333 and HLT441 contain additional and more specific information about assessment requirements, submission dates, and so on.

–  –  –

Allocation of supervisors You will be assigned a principal supervisor and at least one co-supervisor; these people may be academic staff members in the School of Community Health, or may work within another School and/or in professional practice.

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