This unit of study covers a variety of research methods relevant to research in a community development or digital media context. The ontological and epistemological foundations to various approaches to social research will be critically reviewed. Students will become broadly familiar with the concepts of logic and methodology and quantitative and qualitative research methods. They will be able to select a research topic(s), design research proposal(s) and adopt appropriate research methods. To emphasis skills development in research training, students will practice with (and use) commonly used social research software tools.

Unit details

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Successful completion of four units of the course.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Deconstruct the implicit and explicit values, terminology, methods and techniques of the major theoretical paradigms in qualitative research methods and interrogate the main criticisms of these methods;  
  2. Inquire into a complex or emergent issue in the field demonstrating advanced skills of logical argument, hypotheses formulation and defensible interpretations of evidence;  
  3. Discriminate between and theorise about reflexivity and research ethics in different types of research;  
  4. Interrogate methodological approaches and choose which to apply to a research proposal;  
  5. Develop a research proposal applicable to a minor research thesis or Community Based Research project.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment A critical analysis of a research context based on a chosen research topic. 25%
Assignment A critical outline of the proposed research methodology(ies) and method(s) based on a chosen research topic 30%
Assignment Final research proposal. 45%

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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