Research Methods

Unit code: AAA5002 | Study level: Postgraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
Footscray Park
Successful completion of four units of the course.
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit of study covers a variety of research methods relevant to research in a community development or digital media context. The methodological foundations to various approaches to social research will be critically reviewed. Students will become broadly familiar with the concepts of design, 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 emphasise skills development in research training, students will practise with (and use) commonly used social research software tools. This unit will also provide an overview of ethical codes of conduct and practices when engaging in research.

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 and quantitative 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, hypothesis 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.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Annotated Bibliography
Grade: 20%
An annotated bibliography on a chosen research topic.
Assessment type: Literature Review
Grade: 15%
Final Lit Review.
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 25%
A critical outline of the proposed research methodology(ies) and method(s) based on a chosen research topic
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 40%
Final Research Proposal.

Required reading

Students will be provided with readings via VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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