Social Science Research Methods

Subject MULT20003 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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: Thirty contact hours per week. 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1.5 hour tutorial per week for 10 weeks. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggerred and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment: 8.5
Prerequisites: Completion of at least 12.5 points of firsty year Criminology, Sociology or Politics and International Studies, or one of the Faculty of Arts' Interdisciplinary Foundation (IDF) subjects.
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: Firsty year Criminology, Sociology or Politics & International Studies.
Non Allowed Subjects: 191-004 Introduction to Research Methods
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Jens Zinn, Dr Julie Evans


Assoc. Prof. Jens Zinn:

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

Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.

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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