Social Research Design and Evaluation

Subject SOCI90005 (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 2, 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: A 2-hour seminar per week. If enrolments exceed 30, the 2nd hour of the seminar may be split into 2 or 3 small classes.
Total Time Commitment: 10
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate certificate/ diploma or fourth-year honours in Sociology, Public Policy and Management, Criminology, Socio-legal studies or Political Science, or the Master of Social Policy, Master of Public Policy and Management, Master of Criminology, or Master of Policy Studies (ASST).
Corequisites: This is a compulsory subject in the Master of Social Policy (100 & 200 point programs).
Recommended Background Knowledge: Sociology or Politics and International Studies or Criminology at Undergraduate level
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 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 Tim Marjoribanks


Dr. Timothy Marjoribanks

Subject Overview:

This subject provides a critical and practical engagement with social research design and evaluation, in a range of societal contexts including, but not limited to, social policy. As such, it provides theoretical frameworks and research skills for analysing and engaging with contemporary social relations, problems and challenges. We begin by examining how social researchers identify research problems and design research, and then move onto a consideration of the range of approaches to the collection and analysis of data, and the writing up of research. We also analyse the relationship between evaluation and social research, in the context of debates around evidence based policy and the effectiveness (or otherwise) of social interventions. On completion of the subject, the written work and class participation will provide students with theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in key aspects of social research design and evaluation.

  • Understand the processes of social research, including designing a research proposal, conducting research, and writing up a final research paper or report.
  • Be familiar with research strategies and methods used in social research design and evaluation, including the ethics and politics of research design and evaluation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of evaluation strategies and methods.
  • Have gained experience in social research design and evaluation .
Assessment: A written response paper of 1000 words (20%) due prior to mid-semester, a written social research opinion piece of 1000 words (20%) due after mid-semester, a written research proposal of 3000 words (60%) due at end of semester. Hurdle requirement to attend 75% of seminars in order to have work accepted for evaluation.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be made available for purchase from the University Bookshop.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • be able to develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately.
Notes: This is a compulsory subject in the Master of Social Policy (100 & 200-point programs).
Related Course(s): Master of Criminology (CWT)
Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Master of Social Policy
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology
Political Science
Political Science
Socio-Legal studies
Socio-legal Studies

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