Research in Sociology - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP2
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP2
  • Assessment: Interview (30%) , Planning Assessment - Research Plan (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit provides hands on experience of social research. The particular focus is the semi-structured qualitative interviews. You nominate a research topic and, with the assistance of the teaching team, draft a research plan to investigate that topic. You then undertake three semi-structured qualitative interviews and qualitative data analysis following templates and protocols provided by the research team.

Assessment involves preparation of a research plan, the submission of the first interview transcribed and with preliminary data analysis and personal reflections on the interview process, and a final research report collating the findings from the three interviews.

This unit engages you with a very common from of sociological research: the face-to-face interview. At the conclusion of the unit you will:

  1. understand the notion of epistemology and the ways in which epistemology may shape methodological choices;
  2. recognize different types of interviews;
  3. grasp the strengths and limitations of interviews as a research method;
  4. identify the ethical issues that may arise in semi-structured qualitative interviewing and appreciate issues of subjectivity and reflexivity in the research process;
  5. know how to conduct and transcribe a semi-structured qualitative interview and write a qualitative research report.
  • Interview (30%)
  • Planning Assessment — Research Plan (20%)
  • Report — Research Report (50%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Note: Level 3 units normally assume a moderate level of prior knowledge in this area, eg from studying related Level 1 and 2 units or other relevant experience.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to qualitative research
2The what and why of interviewing
4Developing the interview guide
5Selecting, finding and accessing research participants
6Subjectivity and Reflexivity in Interviewing
7Conducting the interview
8Transcription and field notes
9The Literature Review
10Qualitative data analysis
11Qualitative data analysis
12Writing a qualitative research report

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Quizzes
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Practical Introduction to In-depth Interviewing

    By:Morris, Alan

    ISBN: 9781446287637


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Enquire online

    Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
    Make an online enquiry.

    Enquire now

    Ready to enrol?

    Start studying this unit now.


    Got a question?

    Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.