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FIT4126 Honours thesis - Semester 1, 2011

This unit is a research unit and a requirement for the FIT Honours degrees. Due to the nature of IT, a wide range of Honours project types can be offered to students. Some project components are of a practical nature and may involve some software development and/or experimentation, while other components are of a more theoretical nature.

Mode of Delivery

  • Berwick (Day)
  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Clayton (Day)
  • Gippsland (Day)
  • Gippsland (Off-campus)

Contact Hours

Regular meetings with supervisor(s) over the course of the semester.


The honours project accounts for 50% of the total time spent in the Honours year and extends over both semesters.

There are no formal lectures. Students meet with their supervisor on a weekly basis, normally for at least 1 hour/week.

The remainder of the time (approximately 23 hours per week) should be spent on activities related to the project, for example: background reading; locating and analysing research material; software design, development and testing; performing experiments; analysis of results; documentation and thesis writing; consultation with industry experts or other academics; presentation of results.

Unit Relationships


CPE4000, CSE4000, IMS4000


Admission to the Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours) or Bachelor of Business Information Systems (Honours) or Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems (Honours) program.

Chief Examiner

Michael Morgan

Campus Lecturer


Dr Kirsten Ellis



Dr Alan Dorin


Dr Madhu Chetty

South Africa

Dr Jacques Steyn

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will have:

  • demonstrated knowledge and understanding in the area of their chosen research project.
  • acquired necessary skills to plan and undertake rigorous independent research.
  • acquired comprehensive research skills in the IT field.
  • developed the capacity to engage in critical thinking and analysis.
  • demonstrated the ability to communicate research activities and findings.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • have confidence in their ability to undertake independent and individual research.
  • have confidence in their ability to plan and execute an individual research project.
Developed the skills to:
  • find and analyse current research literature;
  • critically evaluate research findings;
  • Identify open problems in current research;
  • Identify promising new research directions based on previous results;
  • Define feasible projects based on such problems;
  • Set realistic timelines and intermediate deliverables for a research project;
  • Communicate research results in a variety of forms, including informal oral presentations, written reports, seminar presentations and poster presentations.
Demonstrated the communication skills necessary to:
  • communicate research ideas effectively in oral and written form;
  • collaborate effectively with their supervisor.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

    Assessment Summary

    Research Proposal: 5%; Literature Review: 10%; Interim Presentation: hurdle; Final Presentation: 5%; Thesis (normally 10,000 - 20,000 words): 80%

    Assessment Task Value Due Date
    Final Presentation 5% of the 24 cpt or 18 cpt thesis Week 12 at a seminar time to be scheduled.
    Honours Thesis (10,000 to 20,000 words) 80% of the 24 cpt or 18 cpt thesis Week 15, 3pm Friday

    Teaching Approach

    Research activities
    Students will research an agreed thesis topic under the guidance of their supervisor and will receive feedback on their progress through regular meetings with their supervisor.


    Our feedback to You

    Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
    • Other: Supervisor meetings and seminar presentations.

    Your feedback to Us

    Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

    Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

    Unit Schedule

    Week Date* Activities Assessment
    0 21/02/11 Students will research an agreed thesis topic under the guidance of their supervisor and will receive feedback on their progress through regular meetings with their supervisor. No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
    1 28/02/11    
    2 07/03/11    
    3 14/03/11    
    4 21/03/11    
    5 28/03/11    
    6 04/04/11    
    7 11/04/11    
    8 18/04/11    
    Mid semester break
    9 02/05/11    
    10 09/05/11    
    11 16/05/11    
    12 23/05/11   Final Presentation: due Week 12 - 5% and Thesis: due Week 15, 3pm Friday - 80%
      30/05/11 SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC

    *Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

    • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
    • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
    • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

    If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

    Assessment Tasks


    This unit forms part of the sequence of units comprising the Honours thesis in the Faculty of Information Technology for students enrolled prior to 2011.

    Two exit points exist for the Honours thesis, when student attain 24 cpts or 18 cpts. Students enrolled prior to 2011 will select a combination of units resulting in the required credit point total.

    The 24 credit point exit point is applicable to:

    • Honours degree of Bachelor of Business Information Systems,
    • Honours degree of Bachelor of Computer Science,
    • Honours degree of Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems.

    The 18 credit point exit point is applicable to:

    • Honours stream in the Bachelor of Software Engineering.

    FIT4126 Honours Thesis is a unit with an enrolled value of 12CP and 0CP or 24CP achievable, taken over a single semester but forms the first part of a sequence of units that together allow a student to complete an Honours Thesis of 18 or 24 credit points. 

    These units include:

    • FIT4606 Honours Thesis (6 cpts)
    • FIT4126 Honours Thesis (12 cpts)
    • FIT4186 Honours Thesis (18 cpts)

    At the completion of the requirements for the thesis the following components of assessment will be completed:

    Research Proposal: 5%; Literature Review: 10%; Interim Presentation: hurdle; Final Presentation: 5%; Thesis (normally 10,000 - 20,000 words): 80%

    These assessment tasks will be completed over the course of several units in the Honours program but the overall grade for the thesis will only be finalised on completion of either 24cpts or 18cpts.

    Please refer to the Unit Guides for FIT4606, FIT4126 and FIT4186 for a description of the assessment items to be completed over the course of the Honours Thesis.

    The following components will be assessed during the course of this unit:

    Final Presentation: 5%; Thesis (normally 10,000 - 20,000 words): 80%

    • Assessment task 1
      Final Presentation
      Present a 20 minute presentation on your research project to your peers with an additional 10 minute question period.

      The presentation should clearly identify the research problem, significance and aims. The background research context should be outlined and the research approach and method clearly defined.

      The research outcomes and possible avenues for further research should be presented.

      The presentation should be well structured and concisely delivered.

      The presented will also be required to answer questions raised by their peers and the lecturing staff.
      5% of the 24 cpt or 18 cpt thesis
      Criteria for assessment:

      Content and Structure of Presentation - /70

      Presentation Delivery - /30

      Total - /100

      Due date:
      Week 12 at a seminar time to be scheduled.
    • Assessment task 2
      Honours Thesis (10,000 to 20,000 words)
      Submit an Honours Thesis of 10,000 to 20,000 words that describes your research.

      The thesis should be well structured and contain, an abstract, table of contents and correct referencing.

      It will provide a clear description of the objectives of the project, will include a comprehensive literature review, and describe the methodology used.

      The thesis will provide a good analysis of the evaluation of results, and contain the correct grammar and expression.

      The presentation of the thesis document will be consistent with the standard expected of academic writing in the field.
      80% of the 24 cpt or 18 cpt thesis
      Criteria for assessment:

      Difficulty of task - /10

      Quality and substance of report consistent with presentation - /40

      Achievement - /50

      Total - /100

      Due date:
      Week 15, 3pm Friday


    Assignment submission

    Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website:
    You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

    Extensions and penalties

    Returning assignments


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