Course Outline

INT202 Independent Research Project

Course Coordinator:Stefanie Fishel ( School:School of Law and Society

2024Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course is designed to provide you with an experience in undertaking a reading course or a research project focused on Politics and International Relations. Politics and International Relations is the study of relationships among countries, the roles of sovereign states, inter-governmental organisations (IGO), non-governmental organisations (NGO), and multinational corporations (MNC). In this course, you will choose a topic that focuses on a theme, problem, or issue in International Relations on which you will undertake research and analysis.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Independent Study/Research – Total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours 150hrs Week 1 Once Only

Course Topics

Set independently under supervision with the Course Coordinator

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Contribute and engage in course content discussions with Course Coordinator during discussion forums. Engaged
2 Demonstrate research, critical analysis skills, and argument development in political science research methodologies. Knowledgeable
3 Demonstrate research, critical analysis skills, and argument development in essay papers and during discussion and forum sessions. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
4 Apply scholarly writing, research and appropriate reference styles. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


At least 16 courses with a GPA of at least 5.7 and permission required for enrolment - please contact the Course Coordinator.


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Timely and detailed feedback is provided for each assessment. Early feedback is provided in meetings with the Course Coordinator on research and writing. Feedback is provided both within text and general comments to build scholarly skills. Students are able to seek feedback through face-to-face discussion with the course coordinator.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Activity Participation Individual 10%
Weeks 1-13
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) To Supervisor
All 2 Literature Review (or component) Individual 50%
3000 Words
Week 10 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Essay Individual 40%
2000 Words
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Participation
Actively prepare for and then engage in discussions with the Course Coordinator and constructively respond to course content questions, theories and practices.
Product: Activity Participation
Discussions and forums with the Course Coordinator (and other students where relevant) will be conducted throughout the semester and provide an opportunity to extend your understanding though an exchange of views, discussion, and debate. Participation is assessed on active and informed engagement. Your contribution needs to be informed. Asserting opinions without providing evidence in support or wandering too far from the set topics will not constitute informed participation. Preparation for the sessions will require reading and research and thinking about the issues highlighted for discussion.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated knowledge of some of the relevant readings
1 2 3 4
Demonstrated capacity to analyse readings and arguments during discussions
2 3 4
Demonstrate an understanding of the actors, institutions, processes, key events and concepts relevant to this course
2 3
Contributed to individual and group discussions with relevant and informed comments
1 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Project 1 - Literature Review
For you to research, analyse, write and submit a Literature Review
Product: Literature Review (or component)
3000 words - Project 1 is a Literature Review on a theme, issue or problem of your choice. The paper will be written as a formal academic written piece. The topic will be chosen in consultation with the Course Coordinator. You are to review at least 20 different sources on this topic.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
A topic is clearly articulated and appropriate sources are analysed.
2 3 4
A clear thesis statement that articulates what the Literature Review will address, how it will do so and (briefly) and what gaps or problem areas are identified within this body of literature.
2 3 4
Scholarly and authoritative reference sources are used to directly support claims and arguments.
Critical thinking, analysis and synthesis of argument is evident.
2 3
The paper correctly uses the Harvard Style of referencing with a List of References (LORs) at the end.
All - Assessment Task 3:Project 2
For you to research, analyse, write and submit a Major Essay
Product: Essay
2000 words - Project 2 will further develop your research into the topic of your Literature Review. In this task you will analyse this topic and develop an argumentative essay identifying gaps, problems, and limitations in the literature you have engaged and ways that these could be overcome via further research. The paper will be written as a formal academic essay.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
A clear thesis statement in the introductory paragraph that articulates what the paper will address, how it will do so and (briefly) why the paper addresses the issue/topic in the way that it does.
Scholarly and authoritative reference sources are used to directly support claims and arguments
2 4
Critical thinking, analysis and synthesis of argument is evident
2 3
The paper correctly uses the Harvard Style of referencing with a List of References (LORs) at the end

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
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  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

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