Methods of Social Research - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1 , Sem2
  • Assessment: Participation - Workshop participation (20%) , Proposal - Research proposal (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as SGY240 Methods of Social Research.

Develop your practical skills in designing, collecting, analysing and presenting data to address social research questions. The unit considers the best research methods and the problems and limitations likely to be encountered by inexperienced researchers. You will learn how to select appropriate research techniques to use in different situations, ethical issues and the impact of new information technologies on social research. A series of workshops introduces major methodological techniques covering basic qualitative and quantitative approaches, including interviewing, case studies, group techniques such as focus groups, textual analysis and participant observation.

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. be familiar with a range of qualitative and quantitative social research methods and know when each should be used in social research
  2. have first-hand experience in using a number of important methods of research
  3. be familiar with information technologies used in undertaking social research
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the key issues in social research, especially the scientific status of social science research, the strengths and weaknesses of different methods, and questions relating to validity and reliability
  5. be able to scope a general topic, develop key research questions which arise from issues of concern, and prepare a research proposal which would outline a program of research to be undertaken to address the issues being considered.
  • Participation — Workshop participation (20%)
  • Proposal — Research proposal (40%)
  • Quizzes (20%)
  • Research Paper (20%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • SGY240 — Methods of Social Research

You must complete Level 1 Sociology before starting this unit.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Research in the social sciences
2Setting the Agenda
3Identifying research data
4Qualitative research
5Collecting qualitative data
6Analysis of qualitative data
7Quantitative research in practice
8Social statistics 1
9Social statistics 2: populations and samples
10Quantitative research in practice
11Ethics in Social Research
12Mixed Methodology and wrap up
13Social survey research

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective 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

  • Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and

    By:Punch, Keith F

    ISBN: 9781446240939


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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