Social Science Research Methods - 2016

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • 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 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 (10%) , Assignment 2 (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit is designed to teach students the logic of research methodology in the social sciences. Students will learn how to articulate a researchable problem, formulate research questions and hypotheses, logically determine what research methodology provides the best avenue to test or explore these questions/hypotheses, and to design an appropriate research project.

After successfully completing this unit you should be able to:

  1. Describe and explain the theoretical tenets of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches to research design
  2. Demonstrate skills in identifying and researching relevant literature and documents, including theoretical and empirical research and policy documents
  3. Explain the theoretical principles underlying research question/s and research hypothesis/es and demonstrate an ability to construct appropriate research question/s and research hypothesis/es for a specified research project
  4. Describe, explain and select an appropriate methodological approach and sampling strategy and design data collection instrument/s for a specified research project
  5. Describe and apply principles of ethical research
  6. Report the key elements of a written research proposal according to American Psychological Association guidelines;
  7. Be cognisant of the range, complexity and value of criminological research.
  • Assignment 1 (10%)
  • Assignment 2 (10%)
  • Assignment 3 (50%)
  • Invigilated Exam — Examination (40%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Mandatory conditional prerequisites

You must either have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit, or currently be enrolled in the following unit(s) in a prior study period; or enrol in the following unit(s) to study prior to this unit:

Please note that your enrolment in this unit is conditional on successful completion of these prerequisite unit(s). If you study the prerequisite unit(s) in the study period immediately prior to studying this unit, your result for the prerequisite unit(s) will not be finalised prior to the close of enrolment. In this situation, should you not complete your prerequisite unit(s) successfully you should not continue with your enrolment in this unit. If you are currently enrolled in the prerequisite unit(s) and believe you may not complete these all successfully, it is your responsibility to reschedule your study of this unit to give you time to re-attempt the prerequisite unit(s).

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: The nature and process of social research
2Social research strategies Research designs
3Planning a research project and formulating research questions
4Breaking down the quantitative/qualitative divide
5Structured and unstructured interviewing
6Quantitative research
7Qualitative research
8Setting up and doing fieldwork
9Qualitative data analysis and reporting
10Quantitative data analysis and reporting
11Research in government organisations: Evaluation and policy analysis

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement 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

  • Social Research Methods


    ISBN: 9780199689453


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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