Social Sciences Research Methods

Subject POPH90201 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
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: 36 hrs: 6 x 6 hrs symposia
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: -
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: -
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Recommended Background Knowledge: Background knowledge gained from undertaking 505-998 Principles of Social Research Design
Non Allowed Subjects: 505-922 Research Methods in Social Health
Core Participation Requirements: -


Assoc Prof Marilys Guillemin


Centre for Health and Society


Key Centre for Women's Health in Society
Telephone: +61 3 8344 0717
Email: enquiries-kcwhs@


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824

Subject Overview: The subject is focussed around students developing, presenting and workshopping research proposals for the topic to be undertaken in their research thesis. Teaching will concentrate on practical skills related to various social sciences research methods, and critical analysis and evaluation of research proposals. As part of this subject, students will be expected to participate in (a) exercises designed to enhance research skills and techniques; and (b) workshopping, analysis and criticism of each others’ research proposals, providing feedback in the refinement of the research design and methodology.
Objectives: On completion of this subject, students should:
  • Have relevant training in social sciences research methods and techniques
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of a variety of social science research methods
  • Understand the relationship between research design and research methods
  • Be able to justify the choice of research methods for a particular research question
  • Have developed problem solving skills to deal with practical issues that arise in the conduct of social research
  • Have developed the skills to carry out a critical review of the literature for the purpose of designing social sciences research
  • Be able to develop a detailed proposal for their research topic.

  • Completion of reflective practice exercises on the undertaking of social sciences research methods up to a maximum of 2000 words (40%) due mid semester
  • Completion of a detailed research proposal using social sciences research methods up to a maximum of 4000 words (60%) due at the end of semester.
Prescribed Texts: Students will have access to electronic copies of relevant readings
Recommended Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of the subject students will have:
  • Gained practical skills in social sciences research methods
  • Refined analytic skills needed to plan and critically evaluate a research proposal
  • Developed the ability to plan their own research work
  • Developed strategies for dealing with problems that arise in the planning and conduct of research
  • Gained skills in collection and interpretation of data
  • Effective written and oral communication skills

Related Course(s): Master of Health Social Sciences
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Social Health
Women's Health

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