Qualitative Research Strategies

Subject 166-086 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually one first-year subject in Sociology, Political Science, Criminology or related fields.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Tim Marjoribanks
Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to qualitative research strategies and methods. As such, it provides insights into the exciting and original contributions that social researchers can make to contemporary understandings of the worlds we inhabit. The subject examines how qualitative researchers gather and analyse data, using observation, interviews and document analysis, and then write a research report. Research strategies considered include case studies, grounded theory, ethnography and action research. This subject is based on students obtaining hands-on experience, through developing a field-based project of relevance to their interest exploring qualitative methods. On completion of this subject, students will understand the process of conducting qualitative research; have hands-on experience in using qualitative research methods; and be familiar both with theoretical approaches used in designing qualitative social research, and with key examples of qualitative research. The subject is structured to be of relevance to students in social science and humanities based disciplines, and to provide skills relevant to a wide range of areas.

Assessment: A written research proposal of 1500 words 40% (due mid-semester) and a written research paper of 2500 words 60% (due during the examination period).
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader will be providedQualitative Methods in Social Research (K E Esterberg), McGraw-Hill 2002
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • demonstrate critical thinking and analytic skills through research and written communication;

  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically, both orally and in writing;

  • display awareness and understanding of the social, ethical and cultural contexts of research and of our place as researchers.


Students intending to do fourth-year honours in Sociology must have completed this subject as part of their major.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Public Policy and Management
Diploma in Arts (Development Studies)
Diploma in Arts (Political Science)
Diploma in Arts (Sociology)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Development Studies)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Political Science)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Sociology)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Australian Indigenous Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Development Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Political Science)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Sociology)

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