Social Research Methods

Subject NRMT40005 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 44 hours of lectures and tutorials
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Students should be able to identify a social research project relevant to their broader studies or professional practice.

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 website:


Prof Ruth Beilin


Subject Overview:

Understanding of social processes and action is critical to effective land and environment management; social research skills are therefore valued by resource management agencies. The subject aims to equip students with knowledge and skills to design social research which can be used to improve management of environments, and agricultural and food systems.The research process is considered step by step including scoping research issues, the evolution of research questions and selection of appropriate methods. A number of research strategies are considered in more detail including survey research, case studies and action research. Social research ethics, quality in social research and advances in social research methods are examined.

Learning Outcomes:

The aim of this unit is to assist students to develop an:

  • understanding of the process of social research;
  • ability to select appropriate methodological frameworks and to match research tools to these approaches;
  • understanding of ethical considerations in social research; and
  • ability to prepare research proposals.
  • Assignment: Developing research questions – 250 words; due approximately week 4 - 15% of final mark.
  • Essay: Qualitative and quantitative approaches to a research project–1500 words; due approximately week 8 - 40% of final mark.
  • Research Proposal - 2000 words;near the end of the semester- 45% of final mark
Prescribed Texts:

Subject reader

Recommended Texts:

Seale, C. (2004). Social Research Methods: A Reader. London/NewYork: Routledge Student Readers.

Bryman, A. (2004) Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2nd edition).

Neuman, W.L. (2006). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (6th Edn). Boston, Pearson Education Inc.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bachelor of Environments (Honours) Environmental Geography
Bachelor of Environments (Honours) Landscape Management
Honours Program - Forest Science
Honours Program - Geography

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