CIVL4023: Honours Thesis B (2015 - Semester 1)

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Unit: CIVL4023: Honours Thesis B (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Honours
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Shen, Luming
Session options: Semester 1, Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: 30 credits of 3rd year units of study.
Brief Handbook Description: Honours Thesis provides an opportunity for students to conduct original research. Students will generally work in groups, although planning and writing of the thesis will be done individually; i.e., a separate thesis must be submitted by each student. Only in exceptional circumstances and by approval of Thesis course coordinator and the relevant academic supervisor concerned will a student be permitted to undertake a project individually.

Honours Thesis is a major task and is to be conducted with work spread over most of the year, in two successive Units of Study of 6 credits points each, Honours Thesis A (CIVL4022) and Honours Thesis B (CIVL4023). This particular unit of study, which must be preceded by or be conducted concurrently with CIVL4022 Honours Thesis A, should cover the second half of the work required for a complete "final year" thesis project. In particular, it should include completion of all components of the research or investigation project planned but not undertaken or completed in CIVL4022 Honours Thesis A.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Timetable: CIVL4023 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Research 10.00 12
2 Meeting 1 12
T&L Activities: Meeting: Weekly meetings with supervisor are required, unless otherwise agreed.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Formulating an original problem. Identifying opportunities for innovation and improvement. Design (Level 4)
Developing in-depth knowledge of a specialist area in civil engieering. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
Training in scientific/engineering research and investigation practices, in preparation for potential postgraduate study or advanced consultancy work. Conducting a literature review. Investigation of an original problem using various research methods. Developing initiative in sourcing ideas, data and knowledge from self and others. Information Seeking (Level 3)
Experience and training in the preparation of a high quality formal report, with emphasis on corretness, quality & succinctness. Communication (Level 4)
Experience working in a small team, including allocation of tasks, resolution of priorities. Time management training on an extended project, working to a series of deadlines. Project and Team Skills (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 4)
1. Ability to formulate and plan a personal research project
2. Originality, ingenuity and initiative in dealing with critical research issues.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
3. In-depth knowledge of a specialised area within the discipline
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
4. Ability to formulate an appropriate method for investigating a specific research question
5. Ability to analyse data, draw appropriate conclusions and present those conclusions in context, with due consideration of methods and assumptions involved.
Communication (Level 4)
6. Ability to document and report research work undertaken in a format appropriate for academic literature with correct referencing.
7. Ability to deliver a research presentation that is clear, confident and engaging to an academic audience.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Progress Report No 10.00 Previous Semester 1, 3, 4, 6,
2 Participation No 15.00 Multiple Weeks 1,
3 Presentation/Seminar Yes 15.00 Week 12 3, 7,
4 Thesis No 60.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
Assessment Description: Thesis: Final Thesis (Thesis B). Two hard-bound copies of the Thesis should be submitted for marking to the school administration office by end of Week 13, Semester 2. Statement identifying the specific contributions of the student and others must be included. Maximum length is 50 pages (including tables, figures and references, but not appendices). The Thesis must contain a page stating the specific contributions of the student and that of others involved. While the thesis project work is conducted in groups, the final thesis itself musts be written and submitted individually. Students should closely consult Thesis Guidelines handout and Thesis Marking Sheet for content and formatting requirements.

Progress Report: Research Plan & Progress Report (Thesis A). A Research Plan and Progress Report of around 15 pages is required from each student. Should include problem/task specification, literature survey, proposed methodology, expected outcomes, progress in first semester and proposed timeline.

Participation: Management of Research Project (Thesis B). Thesis projects are undertaken in groups but marking of project management component is based on individual contributions.

Presentation/Seminar: Oral Presentation and Poster (Thesis B). Each student will be required to participate in a group presentation and contribute to a group poster on the group`s thesis research. Group presentations will be approximately 15-20 minutes duration, scheduled in parallel sessions according to field of specialisation. Poster should be printed on an A1 page and summarise the groups`s research work, including the main conclusions. Participation in presentations and submission of posters is compulsory. Failure to deliver a scheduled seminar or submit a poster will result in a fail grade for the thesis units.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Online Course Content:

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Thesis project work.
Week 2 Thesis project work.
Week 3 Thesis project work.
Week 4 Thesis project work.
Week 5 Thesis project work.
Week 6 Thesis project work.
Week 7 Thesis project work.
Week 8 Thesis project work.
Week 9 Thesis project work.
Week 10 Thesis project work.
Week 11 Thesis project work.
Week 12 Thesis project work. Oral presentation and poster sessions.
Assessment Due: Presentation/Seminar
Week 13 Thesis project work. Final Thesis due.
Assessment Due: Thesis
Previous Semester Assessment Due: Progress Report

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Civil 2015, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil / Arts 2015
Civil / Commerce 2015
Civil / Design in Architecture 2015
Civil / Medical Science 2015
Civil / Project Management 2015
Civil / Science 2015
Civil (Construction Management) 2015, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Environmental) 2015, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Geotechnical) 2015, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Structures) 2015, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Commerce 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Medical Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) 2010, 2011, 2012
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Arts 2011
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Commerce 2010, 2011
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Science 2011
Flexible First Year (Stream A) / Science 2012

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Project and Team Skills (Level 3) Yes 0%
Design (Level 4) Yes 37.5%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 20%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) No 22.5%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 0%
Communication (Level 4) Yes 20%
Professional Conduct (Level 2) No 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.