Introduction to Research Methods

Subject 482-611 (2009)

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

Credit Points: 25.00
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - 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: External mode students can expect a total workload of approximately 240 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
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:


Assoc Prof Rosalind Elizabeth Hurworth
Subject Overview: An introduction to the collection, processing, analysis and reporting of qualitative and quantitative data in evaluation studies. The subject begins with a consideration of the appropriateness of qualitative and quantitative methods in studies involving both small and large numbers of cases and general methodological issues of research design. For studies with small number of cases, topics will include participant observation, interviewing, focus groups and data analysis. For studies with medium or large number of units of analysis (eg surveys or enumerations) topics will include: sampling; design; development and testing of instruments for data collection, field processes; data processing; computer-based exploratory and descriptive analysis and general issues of validity and reliability. This quantitative component focuses on the development of skills based on intuitive rather than mathematical understandings.
Assessment: Two exercises demonstrating the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluation questions. (3,000 words each 100 per cent)
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Bryman, A. and Cramen, D. Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS for Windows release 12 and 13: a guide for social scientists. London; New York: Routledge, 2004. Additional Readings will be provided on Webraft.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  • link research or evaluation questions to appropriate quantitative and qualitative data techniques;
  • apply a range of core quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques;
  • undertake simple analysis and reporting related to small-scale data sets;
  • understand the use of statistical packages in the analysis and display of quantitative data.

Generic Skills:

On completing this subject students should be able to:

  • understand the contexts in which quantitative and qualitative methods are appropriate in research and evaluation,
  • recognize the suitability of particular methods in specific circumstances;
  • be capable of developing simple research and evaluation designs for social and educational programs, including, where appropriate, activities such as sampling, data collection, data analysis and interpretation.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Certificate in Assessment and Evaluation

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