Course syllabus

  • Semester 2 2020
  • 15 Points
  • Prerequisites:  15 points at stage II from the BA schedule.
  • Course convenor: Caroline Blyth ( - or contact me through Canvas)


The course leads you through the process of conducting a short research project on your chosen topic, with assistance of a supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Critically investigate a topic or issue of interest in the field of Theological and/or Religious Studies.
  2. Develop a research proposal relevant for the selected project
  3. Locate research resources of a range and quality appropriate to an undergraduate research project
  4. Present findings in a research essay that shows evidence of critical engagement with scholarship on the chosen topic


  1. Research proposal, 600 words, 10%,
  2. Twelve short weekly discussions x 200 words each, 40% 
  3. Research essay, 3000 words    50%    

Late policy

Course work submitted after the due date (except discussions - see special policy under first pinned discussion) will lose 5% for the first day it is late, and 1% per day thereafter. If work is over 2 weeks late, it will not be marked and will receive 0. In extenuating circumstances, short extensions may be given, but only if these extensions are requested prior to the due date. Extensions of a week or more must be supported by a medical certificate or equivalent. Social commitments, or having more than one assignment due on the same day are not adequate reasons or an extension.

Meetings, supervision and commitment

Because it's a directed research project, this course has no lectures; you must arrange a time to meet with me (Caroline) in week 1 ( .

If you haven't yet decided what your essay will be about, I will help you develop a potential project and will direct you to a supervisor at the initial meeting.

Thereafter, you'll need to arrange regular meetings with your supervisor. It's your responsibility to contact your supervisor about these and make regular appointments to discuss your work; it's not your supervisor's responsibility to keep chasing you up.

Although a course with no lectures may look like a soft option, students who have taken this course in previous years have said that they found it very challenging. If you prefer courses in which you can invest minimum effort, then you would be best to try something else.

But if you want a taster of what it's like to do postgraduate research, then you could find this course helpful.

To succeed you'll need to be proactive in managing your time, and you will need to show initiative in finding, evaluating and preparing material for your project. The weekly discussion posts will help you keep track of your progress, and allow you to share with me and your fellow students how your project is taking shape.

But at the same time: "help is always available at Hogwarts to those who ask for it." You should always feel free to contact me or your supervisor if you've run into any kind of challenge, and we will always be happy to help.

For all questions relating to the course in general, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.

Course summary:

Date Details Due