Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


In this unit students work independently, with one-on-one supervision by staff and must participate in a thesis writing workshop. An anthropology/sociology honours thesis is an original piece of work that deals at length with a unique research question. Students undertake a comprehensive treatment of a topic of choice in the research, writing and presentation of a thesis. Theses are judged on the student's ability to state and address a question or proposition, synthesise concepts and data, and demonstrate independence of thought and familiarity with a body of literature, as well as on the student's ability to argue cogently and lucidly. Considerable emphasis is placed on the structuring of an argument, the demonstration of critical thinking and correct presentation. The thesis should be approximately 15,000 words and is developed principally with the student's supervisor. Students are expected to attend thesis writing seminars where students are expected to participate and performance is assessed on a pass/fail basis. The seminar provides a venue for discussion of each student's thesis project and the opportunity to receive feedback from fellow students, thesis supervisors and the unit coordinator. Seminar discussion focuses on conceptualisation of topics, thesis structure, relevant literature, timetable and planning. Having successfully completed a dissertation, students are eligible to work as professional anthropologists in a range of consultancy fields.

12 points

Students are able to (1) present a focused thesis question/proposition/hypothesis that is manageable within the scope of an honours project and that demonstrates a degree of originality of inquiry and/or method; (2) create a scholarly and critical appraisal of relevant literature that is linked to the thesis question/proposition/hypothesis; (3) develop a convincing, coherent and consistent argument applying anthropological/sociological perspectives that engage with a recognisable body of theory; (4) use appropriate evidence to support the argument drawing upon, for example, ethnographic examples, empirical data, textual materials; and (5) develop clear written expression, demonstrate attention to detail in scholarly referencing and in overall presentation.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar participation; (2) thesis plan, annotated bibliography, draft chapter; and (3) overall dissertation assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Loretta Baldassar
Unit rules
ANTH4140 Dissertation (Anthropology and Sociology) 1
Contact hours
seminars: 2 hours per week for up to 10 weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.