Research Methods for Development

Subject DEVT90041 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

June, 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: This subject will be taught intensively from 9:00am - 12:00pm 4 - 7 June and 11 - 14 June 2012.
Total Time Commitment:

An average of 10 hours each week during the teaching and assessment period.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

Students enrolling in this subject must have completed a Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent.

Non Allowed Subjects:


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 Hans Baer


Dr Hans Baer

Subject Overview:

This subject will focus on research methods as they apply to development work and an understanding of the various stages of research. formulation of research questions and hypotheses and identifying the most appropriate and feasible approaches to data collection and analysis. the communication and reporting of results. identifying ethical concerns. and how to develop skills in reflexivity. Particular attention will be placed on research techniques including participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, action and participatory research techniques, case studies, and the use of secondary and other data sources. It will conclude with a discussion of the cross-cultural context, use of local knowledge and how best to represent and reflect the needs of participants.


Students who successfully complete this subject should

  • be capable of managing development projects in the field, in a manner that is sensitive to local circumstances and needs.
  • acquire skills in cross-cultural analysis.
  • learn the art of writing field notes.

Individual reports totaling 5,000 words, broken down as follows: A fieldwork report of 2,000 words, (40%). a research proposal of 2,500 words, (50%). a joint summary (each participant will contribute 500 words) of a seminar presentation summarizing and critiquing the assigned reading assignment for specified weeks (10%).

Hurdle Requirement:100% seminar attendance, as this is an Intensively-taught subject. Students who fail to meet this hurdle requirement will be deemed ineligible to submit the final piece of assessment for this subject. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment that is submitted after the due date and up to 10 working days late without an approved extension will be marked on a pass/fail basis only. Assessment that is submitted later than 10 working days will not be accepted or marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A reading list will be provided by the subject coordinator.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should

  • demonstrate relevance of the topic to broader development debates.
  • gain and understanding of field methods appropriate for development.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Development Studies (Gender & Development)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Development
Development Studies
Development Studies
Development Studies

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