PICT8047 – Supervised Project in Security Studies

2021 – Session 2, Infrequent attendance, North Ryde

Session 2 Learning and Teaching Update

The decision has been made to conduct study online for the remainder of Session 2 for all units WITHOUT mandatory on-campus learning activities. Exams for Session 2 will also be online where possible to do so.

This is due to the extension of the lockdown orders and to provide certainty around arrangements for the remainder of Session 2. We hope to return to campus beyond Session 2 as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Some classes/teaching activities cannot be moved online and must be taught on campus. You should already know if you are in one of these classes/teaching activities and your unit convenor will provide you with more information via iLearn. If you want to confirm, see the list of units with mandatory on-campus classes/teaching activities.

Visit the MQ COVID-19 information page for more detail.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Dalbir Ahlawat
Contact via By email
Room 544, Level 5, 25 B Wally's Walk
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MCrim or MPICT or MCPICT or PGDipPICT or GradDipPICT or GradDipCPICT or MPICTMIntSecSt or MCPICTMIntSecSt or MIntSecStud or GradDipIntSecStud or MSecStrategicStudMCrim or MSecStrategicStudMIntell or MSecStrategicStudMCyberSec or MSecStrategicStudMCTerrorism or MIntellMCrim or MIntellMCyberSec or MIntellMCTerrorism or MCyberSecMCTerrorism or MCyberSecMCrim or MCTerrorismMCrim or MSecStrategicStud or MIntell or MCTerrorism or MCyberSec or GradDipSecStudCr or GradCertSecStudCr and 30cp and permission by special approval or Master of Cyber Security Analysis or admission to BSecStudMCTerrorism or BSecStudMCrim or BSecStudMCyberSecAnalysis or BSecStudMIntell or BSecStudMSecStrategicStud
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit gives students the opportunity to engage in the composition of a self-directed research project, under the supervision of a subject area expert. This unit will necessitate students to thoroughly engage with the existing research on their topic, using it as a stepping-stone in developing their own research skills. Students will be mentored and trained on how to devise a research questions, translate this question into a set of research tasks, synthesise an appropriate methodological framework, conduct a literature review, collect data, and write up the result of their research as a coherent long research essay. This research relies on utilizing academic secondary sources and does not require original empirical work. Students intending to take this unit must contact any of the departmental administrators in the Department of Security Studies and Criminology to discuss eligibility criteria and supervision arrangements at least four weeks before the start of semester.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a key, specific area in security studies based on a critical assessment of established academic scholarship.
  • ULO2: Apply research and time management skills in designing and delivering scholarly research projects in security studies.
  • ULO3: Develop academic writing skills that result in cogent written research submissions in the area of security studies.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Research Essay 60% No Week 12
Research Proposal 25% No Week 4
Research Essay Plan 15% No Week 7

Research Essay

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 35 hours
Due: Week 12
Weighting: 60%

The final submission must be a complete, integrated, and synthesized piece of work. It should take account of feedback that has been provided on the earlier drafts. Submissions should be organised in a logical and structured way, including (where appropriate) sections and subsections with headings.

On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a key, specific area in security studies based on a critical assessment of established academic scholarship.
  • Apply research and time management skills in designing and delivering scholarly research projects in security studies.
  • Develop academic writing skills that result in cogent written research submissions in the area of security studies.

Research Proposal

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: Week 4
Weighting: 25%

The purpose of the research proposal is to provide an outline of the proposed research project and to demonstrate that the research question(s) can be examined in-depth within the allocated time period and word limit. The proposal should be between 750 -1,000 words in length.

On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply research and time management skills in designing and delivering scholarly research projects in security studies.

Research Essay Plan

Assessment Type 1: Plan
Indicative Time on Task 2: 5 hours
Due: Week 7
Weighting: 15%

The research essay plan should be a maximum 2 page dot-point outline of the research project.

On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply research and time management skills in designing and delivering scholarly research projects in security studies.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources


• You should spend an average of 12 hours per week on this unit. This includes listening to lectures prior to seminar or tutorial, reading weekly required materials as detailed in iLearn, participating in iLearn discussion forums and preparing assessments.

• Internal students are expected to attend all seminar or tutorial sessions, and external students are expected to make significant contributions to on-line activities.

• In most cases students are required to attempt and submit all major assessment tasks in order to pass the unit.


• The citations for all the required readings for this unit are available to enrolled students through the unit iLearn site, and at Macquarie University's library site. Electronic copies of required readings may be accessed through the library or will be made available by other means.


• Computer and internet access are essential for this unit. Basic computer skills and skills in word processing are also a requirement.

• This unit has an online presence. Login is via:  

• Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

• Information about IT used at Macquarie University is available at:


• All text-based assessment tasks are to be submitted, marked and returned electronically. This will only happen through the unit iLearn site.

• Assessment tasks must be submitted as a MS word document by the due date.

• Most assessment tasks will be subject to a 'TurnitIn' review as an automatic part of the submission process.

• The granting of extensions is subject to the university’s Special Consideration Policy. Extensions will not be granted by unit conveners or tutors, but must be lodged through Special Consideration:  


Unless a Disruption to Studies request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply -10 marks of credit will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date –and (b) no assignment will be accepted seven days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline.


• Stated word limits include footnotes and footnoted references, but not bibliography, or title page.

• Word limits can generally deviate by 10% either over or under the stated figure.

• If the number of words exceeds the limit by more than 10%, then penalties will apply. These penalties are 5% of the awarded mark for every 100 words over the word limit. If a paper is 300 words over, for instance, it will lose 3 x 5%= 15% of the total mark awarded for the assignment. This percentage is taken off the total mark, i.e. if a paper was graded at a credit (65%) and was 300 words over, it would be reduced by 15 marks to a pass (50%).

• The application of this penalty is at the discretion of the course convener.


• Macquarie University operates a Grade Appeal Policy in cases where students feel their work was graded inappropriately:  

• In accordance with the Grade Appeal Policy, individual works are not subject to regrading.


• Department staff will endeavour to answer student enquiries in a timely manner. However, emails or iLearn messages will not usually be answered over the weekend or public holiday period.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central ( Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies ( It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central ( and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct:


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit or if you are a Global MBA student contact

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit

Learning Skills

Learning Skills ( provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

Student Enquiries

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at

If you are a Global MBA student contact

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Unit information based on version 2021.02 of the Handbook