Social Science Research Methods

Subject 191-004 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week , 6 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: 25 points of Level 1 Sociology, or 12.5 points of Level 1 Criminology or Level 1 Politics and International Studies.
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:


Dr Julie Evans, Dr Tim Marjoribanks


Dr. Julie Evans & Dr. Tim Marjoribanks /
Subject Overview: This subject aims to provide 2nd year students with a critical appreciation of different ways of approaching, undertaking and assessing research in criminology, sociology and political science, and the humanities generally. It emphasises the importance of understanding the research design process as a whole, while also introducing students to a range of qualitative, quantitative, comparative and mixed research methods. The subject also canvasses associated ethical issues, including in relation to Indigenous communities, and requires students to undertake a number of exercises on the principles and practice of research methods and design.
  • Have an understanding of theoretical, methodological and ethical considerations in designing a social science research project;
  • have an informed appreciation of teh need to identify appropriate research strategies when undertaking research;
  • have an awareness of the analytical and organizational skills required in social science research;
  • have the capapcity to critically evaluate social science research;
  • have an informed understanding of ethical and political issues associated with social science research, including research with Indigenous peoples.
Assessment: Two written tasks totalling 2000 words (50%) due during semester and a research design assignment of 2000 words (50%) due at the end of semester.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available

M.Walter (ed) Social Research Methods: An Australian Perspective Oxford University Press, 2007

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply critical research skills and methods to a field of inquiry;
  • have considerable capacity for independent critical thought and self-directed learning;
  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively.

Formerly available as 191-004 Introduction to Research Methods. Students who have completed 191-004 Introduction to Research Methods are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

This is a compulsory Level 2 subject in the Sociology major, and is highly recommended in the Criminology and Politics & International Studies majors.

Available as a Breadth subject.

Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (Criminology)
Graduate Certificate in Criminology
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology
Criminology Major
Political Science Major
Politics & International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Socio-legal Studies Major
Sociology Major

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