DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

GUIDELINES FOR HONOURS SUPERVISION

The Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) is an additional (fourth) year of specialised study in one of the following disciplines: accounting, finance, actuarial studies or economics and related areas. It is an integrated program with small classes and an emphasis on research and specialised subject areas.

Honours in Finance students are required to enrol in the full year subject FNCE40006 Finance Research Essay and successfully complete a research essay/thesis which counts 25% towards their overall Honours grade. The length of the essay, which is determined in part by the subject matter, should not exceed 10,000 words. The research essay itself is examined. The learning outcomes of the subject are:

• Identify a research question that will make a contribution to the academic literature

• Critically evaluate and synthesise the literature related to the identified research question

• For empirical research, obtain the data required from appropriate sources

• Integrate the research results into the existing literature and draw appropriate conclusions

• Complete a coherent well written piece of work

Prior to being assigned an advisor, students are encouraged to consult with as many staff as they like from across the Department, but are advised to carefully think through their questions/issues before meeting with staff. Each student will be formally assigned an advisor by the Honours Coordinator towards the end of Semester 1. Thereafter students should not consult with any other staff members without first obtaining approval from their advisor.

The role of the advisor is to guide topic selection, assist in formulating the research hypotheses and execution of the research, and ensure the overall direction of the research is reasonable. The advisor is also expected to monitor the student’s progress on a timely basis.

Students and advisors will need to strike a balance on supervision. Honours students are research apprentices but not research assistants. Students will obviously need and can expect some regular level of guidance and advice from advisors (in the order of 1 hour per week on average). However, originality and independence of thought and execution are valued attributes when the essay is being assessed.

There is no single best model of supervision. Whilst the traditional approach in the Department has been the appointment of a single advisor to each student, joint or group approaches to supervision are possible. In all cases, however, advisors must ensure that students are treated equitably and the thesis is predominantly the student’s own work.

A disclosure statement will be used to assist examiners in identifying the student’s overall contribution/work on the thesis and in determining an appropriate grade.

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT FOR FINANCE RESEARCH ESSAY – INSTRUCTIONS

This form requires a judgment of the extent of the student’s contribution on key aspects of the research essay and the overall level of supervision. 

The form must be completed by the student in consultation with the advisor(s) and submitted with the essay. The disclosure statement will be provided to examiners to assist in determining an appropriate grade.

The following table requires the advisor to provide a score representing the student’s contribution to each task that contributes to the successful completion of the essay, where the scores range from 1 to 5 and are defined as follows:

1 Achieved mainly by the student with the advisor making little contribution to the task

2  

3 The advisor and the student contributed to the task in roughly equally proportions

4  

5 Achieved mainly by the advisor with the student making little contribution to the task