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Unit of study_

PMGT5883: Project Studies Thesis A

Semester 1, 2024 [Supervision] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Project Studies Thesis provides an opportunity for students to undertake a major project in a specialised area relevant to Project Management. It can be spread over a whole year, in two successive Units of Study of 6 credits points each, Project Studies Thesis A (PMGT5883) and Project Studies Thesis B (PMGT5884). Students will work individually to plan and write reports. Project Studies Thesis A covers the first half of the work required for a complete thesis project and includes almost all project planning, a major proportion of the necessary background research, and a significant proportion of the investigative or design work required of the project.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PMGT5883
Academic unit Project Management
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Michael Buhagiar,
Lecturer(s) Michael Buhagiar,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Research methodology
Methodology for conduct of research to address research question(s)
35% Formal exam period
Due date: 09 Jun 2024 at 23:59
2500 - 3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Assignment Literature review
Literature Review for chosen thesis topic
35% Formal exam period
Due date: 09 Jun 2024 at 23:59
3500-4000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO7 LO8
Assignment Research plan
Project Management Research and research plan
10% Week 05
Due date: 24 Mar 2024 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7
Presentation hurdle task Seminar presentation A
Presentation of relevant literature, gap, research question & design
20% Week 12
Due date: 17 May 2024 at 23:59
10 minute presentation
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO4 LO3 LO2
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

This is the first of two thesis Units.   In this first Unit, the focus is on

  • conducting a literature review on a topic agreed with your Supervisor
  • identifying a research question(s)
  • determining a theoretical framework and research methodology for addressing the research question

The second of these two Units will be assessed on the conduct of the research and the written thesis.  

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas in the Master by Coursework Thesis Manual for the MPM, MPPM and MPL.


Study Commitment:

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6-credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.


*Attendance Requirements:

Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90 percent of timetabled activities for a unit of study unless granted exception by the Dean or Head of School most concerned. A student may be determined to fail a unit of study because of inadequate attendance. Alternatively, at their discretion, they may set additional assessment items where attendance is lower than 90 percent.  Please see the Resolutions of the Faculty - Faculty of Engineering - The University of Sydney for further details.


Text-matching software for Assignment Submission:

As part of the assessment process, text matching software such as Turnitin may be used to identify plagiarism and/or be used for providing feedback.


Confidential Peer Evaluation:

As part of the group contribution assessment process, collaborative & self-peer evaluation tools (e.g. SparkPlus, CATME, etc.) may be used, either on a confidential or non-confidential basis, to understand contributions and interactions amongst group members. Marks may be adjusted for an individual team member, following on from the peer evaluation process.


Reliability of Canvas Marks:

Canvas will be used in this unit and while key assessments may be submitted via Canvas, it cannot be used to determine/ predict a student’s final marks in this unit. Not all assessment results may be visible to students and group/team marks can change for each individual team member based on the peer-evaluations conducted at the end of the semester.


Recycling Assignments Not Allowed:

Recycling involves submitting (or resubmitting) your own work that has already been assessed without the permission of the lecturer of this unit, and for which you have already been given feedback. Recycling is a form of academic dishonesty and will be handled in line with the coursework policy.


Mark Moderation:

There may be statistically defensible moderation when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

For every calendar day up to and including ten calendar days after the due date, a penalty of 5% of the maximum awardable marks will be applied to late work. The penalty will be calculated by first marking the work, and then subtracting 5% of the maximum awardable mark for each calendar day after the due date. Example: Consider an assignment's maximum awardable mark is 10; the assignment is submitted 2 days late; and the assignment is marked as 7/10. After applying the penalty, marks will be: 7 - (0.5 x 2) = 6/10. For work submitted more than ten calendar days after the due date a mark of zero will be awarded. The marker may elect to, but is not required to, provide feedback on such work. Refer to section 7A of Assessment procedures policy available at:

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Meetings with Supervisor One-to-one tuition (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9
Ongoing Research plan, literature review and research design for an original thesis Independent study (116 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Drive a research project and take ownership in its articulation, design, planning, execution and documentation.
  • LO2. Conduct a critcal review of literature relevant to a chosen topic with focus on identifying key themes, contributions, research gaps and issues.
  • LO3. Articulate and justify a researchable question or questions suitable for investigation.
  • LO4. Identify, select and justify relevant theory, research philosophy and research methods suitable for addressing a research question or problem in an academic manner.
  • LO5. Apply selected research method(s) with consideration of reliability and validity of results.
  • LO6. Draw conclusions based on raw data analysis and refine those conclusions in context based on consideration of methods and assumptions involved.
  • LO7. Demonstrate originality, ingenuity and initiative in dealing with critical research issues.
  • LO8. Document and report research work that demonstrates a clear line of argument and follows a format appropriate for academic literature.
  • LO9. Demonstrate ability to disseminate research work accurately, informatively and constructively to both academic and non-academic audiences in a professional manner.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The literature review workshop and associated participation mark that previously applied were removed in 2023.. The progress of the first intake of students from PMGT5862 Introduction to Research in Project Studies in S2 2023 indicates that this unit has been of great benefit, enabling the students to have a rewarding and productive experience in PMGT5883 Thesis A.

Expected Conduct:

It is every student's responsibility to behave in accordance with the values and principles of mutual ­respect between staff, students and the University – see the Student Charter. This entails respecting all members of our diverse community and racism, sexism, ageism, dishonesty or defamation will not be tolerated, and instances will be reported to the authorities.

Work, health and safety

The University is dedicated to ensuring that all students have equal access to learning. Students can register with Disability Services and gain access to the adjustments and services they need to succeed in their studies. Faculty Disability Liaison Officers (FDLOs)  can provide quick advice and support specific to your learning environment.  As a student with a disability, Disability Services Officers are your main point of contact. Eligibility for these services is determined on an individual needs basis, upon review of the recommendations made in your supporting documentation and your consultation with a Disability Services Officer.

Our students’ wellbeing is our highest priority. The University offers several support channels to help you find relief from current emotional distress, explore coping strategies and advice pathways for longer term solutions:


  • Wellbeing support

If you would like support or to talk confidentially about any concerns that may be impacting on your academic performance or mental health and wellbeing with the Student Wellbeing team, the first step is to fill in this form. Once your form is received, a clinician from Student Wellbeing will call you within 1-2 business days to discuss your support needs.


  • Sonder

All University of Sydney International Students have free access to Sonder, a 24/7 on-demand safety and wellbeing app, to get you the support you need whenever you need, wherever you are.

Learn more:


  • Innowell

This is free to all students at the University. It is a digital platform designed to give you 24/7 on demand access to tools that assist in self-management of mental wellbeing and health and provide information about how to seek help as needed.

Learn more:


  • After hours mental wellbeing support line

If you’re in Australia and require support after hours, you can contact the Mental Wellbeing Support Line by calling 1300 474 065 or by texting 0488 884 429.

The Mental Wellbeing Support Line is available after 5pm from Monday to Friday, 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday, and during University close-down periods and public holidays.


  • Talk Campus

Life is full of challenges, and we want you to know that however you feel is valid. Download the Talk Campus mental health support app for free and instant access to online peer support 24/7, wherever you are in the world and in your own language:

Sign up:


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.