Course Outline

SRP321 Special Research Project

Course Coordinator:Ross Clark ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2022Semester 2

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

What is this course about?


This course enables you to pursue scholarly activities in a study field of your choice. In consultation with your course coordinator and special project supervisor you will devise a project plan, undertake the related activities and report on those activities. The project will support your learning of discipline based knowledge and skills, give you in depth knowledge and skills in a particular area and help you to prepare for future research and scholarship.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Independent Study/Research – Independent work is expected every week. Hours/duration will depend on the individual research. 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics


What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

24 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 Formulate goals and questions to inform independent learning activities Creative and critical thinker
2 Identify and apply specific discipline knowledge to plan, conduct and report project activities Creative and critical thinker
3 Use recognised research skills and technologies to conduct project activities Knowledgeable
4 Report on project activities and outcomes using recognised written and verbal communication Knowledgeable

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

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


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Prior knowledge will be determined by the course coordinator in consultation with the student's supervisor and will take into account the nature of the scholarship and project work. Normally students will have completed the equivalent of one year of full-time study and have achieved a grade point average of 5.0 and have completed at least 3 advanced level courses.

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

Support and feedback will be provided by the project Supervisor.

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 Practical / Laboratory Skills Individual 30%
2000 words
Week 5 To Supervisor
All 2 Oral Individual 30%
15-20 minutes
Exam Period To Supervisor
All 3 Report Individual 40%
3500 words
Refer to Format To Supervisor
All - Assessment Task 1:Research Skills
The goal of this task is for you to develop research skills, e.g. laboratory skills or field work
skills or skills in reviewing the literature
Product: Practical / Laboratory Skills
Friday week 5 for semesters or week 3 for sessions or as negotiated with supervisor.
To be determined in consultations with the supervisor
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​Evidence of research skills e.g. for a literature review, a comprehensive knowledge of the literature, demonstrated skills in finding the literature
1 2
For laboratory and field notebooks, ability to apply recognised research methods and follow procedures, ability to use equipment and carry out experiments according to protocols
Demonstrated observational skills in the laboratory and field and the ability to systematically record observations.
All - Assessment Task 2:Oral Presentation
The goal of this task is for you to develop your skill in using recognised oral communication
strategies and to present your special project outcomes to your peers and colleagues
Product: Oral
Your presentation will be 15-20 minutes. It will be supported by appropriate visual media
tools, for example PowerPoint or Prezi. In the case of online-only it will be pre-recorded and
shared with the supervisor and course coordinator.
Presentation day week 15 or 16 or exam week of session as negotiated.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Critical application of discipline knowledge to project
Representation and explanation of research methods and results
Explanation of project outcomes and critical analysis of results in the context of the literature
3 4
Demonstrated understanding by answering questions
Presentation of information - oral and visual
All - Assessment Task 3:Project report
The goal of this task is for you to synthesise your project activities and report the outcomes of
your project
Product: Report
The report should be 3500 words or equivalent and submitted via Turnitin unless the format prevents this form of submission
Due between the last week of semester/session and exam period or as negotiated with supervisor.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Justification for project in the context of the literature
Methodology concise, accurate and thorough
Clear summary data and appropriate statistical analysis presented
Critical explanation and analysis of project findings
Recognises limitations of project and suggests further research
Appropriate written expression, spelling, grammar and punctuation

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. Directed study hours may vary by location. 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

Not applicable

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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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

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

Wellbeing Services

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

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
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website:

Student Charter

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General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • USC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • USC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • USC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890