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Dissertation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Students

Should I do an internship or a dissertation for my Human Rights Project?

Students can undertake an internship or a dissertation as part of their Human Rights Project. Factors you might like to consider include your interests, strengths and future plans. Some students are keen to gain experience working with an organisation, or to build on previous work experiences. Other students may be more interested in writing and research, and may wish to pursue further research studies after the completion of their Master’s degree. Those interested in writing a dissertation should have obtained around 70% on average in their Masters of Human Rights units.

You are required to contact the Unit Coordinator for the Human Rights Project Units, by the end of the semester before enrolment in the Human Rights Project Unit/s (full-time students should get in touch earlier) to let them know what you intend to complete and your initial ideas about your internship or dissertation topic.

What are the benefits of doing a dissertation?

A dissertation provides valuable experience in conducting a short research project. Writing a dissertation in human rights can be a rewarding end to your master’s degree, rounding off studies with the opportunity to explore more or less anything in the broad human rights field. A dissertation is an independent study with support of a supervisor all your own work. You will gain valuable research experience; and gain confidence and skills. A dissertation is particularly useful for students interested in pursuing further post-graduate research studies (e.g., masters by research or PhD).

What are the pre-requisites for entry into the Human Rights Project Units?

Students should have successfully completed most, if not all, of the 8 units (excluding the human rights project units) in their Masters of Human Rights program. Please familiarise yourself with the course structure.

The human right project units comprises of two units of study: Human Rights Project Preparation 601/CHRE601, and Human Rights Project 691/CHRE691. Each unit is a double unit, that is, they are each worth 50 credit points, with a total of 100 credit points credited to your postgraduate studies.

Can I complete the dissertation part-time?

Yes. Students on a part-time load will be enrolled in Human Rights Project Preparation 601/CHRE601 in one semester, and Human Rights Project 691/CHRE691 in the next semester.

Students on a full-time load will be enrolled in Human Rights Project Preparation 601/CHRE601, and Human Rights Project 691/CHRE691concurrently in one semester.

Who will supervise my dissertation?

Students will be assigned an academic supervisor to assist in the completion of the academic work associated with Human Rights Project Preparation 601/CHRE601, and Human Rights Project 691/CHRE691. This includes the completion of your dissertation.

Once you have notified the Unit Coordinator about your intention to undertake a dissertation, students will be introduced to their supervisor via email at the beginning of semester. Once initial contact has been made, it is up to the student and the supervisor to arrange a first meeting (either in person, or for students not in Perth, via phone or Skype).

How do I select a dissertation topic?

There are many resources available that offer tips on how to select a research topic, including on Curtin University’s Library webpage. The topic is to be discussed between the student and their supervisor and must be located in the broad area of human rights.

Can I use primary research in my dissertation?

Curtin University ethics clearance is required for any research involving humans such as interviewing or observation which can be a lengthy process. As such, students writing a dissertation are required to rely on secondary research (i.e., publically available resources such as journal articles, books etc.).

What are the assessments for the human rights project units?

The following assessments make up the two human rights project units:

Human Rights Project Preparation 601/CHRE601

  • Literature review 2,000 words on an area relevant to your dissertation topic (50%)
  • Human Rights Project Plan 2,000 words which includes an overview of the structure of your dissertation (50%)

Human Rights Project 691/CHRE691

  • Dissertation 15,000 words (100%)

Who will mark my assignments for Human Rights Project Preparation 601/CHRE601?

Your assigned supervisor will mark your assignments for Human Rights Project Preparation 601/CHRE601.

Who will mark my dissertation?

Your dissertation will be marked by one internal examiner from CHRE and one external examiner.

Where can I find more information about the Human Rights Project Units?

Please also have a look through the Human Rights Project Units information unit on Blackboard that includes a short information iLecture. All students enrolled in the Masters course will be able to access this unit.