Social Research Methods in Context

    Unit code: APH4018 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    Footscray Park


    This unit of study is designed to foster students' understanding and application of advanced research methods. Students choose whether they study the quantitative or qualitative stream of this unit based on their interests as well as which stream will best support the methodology they intend to use in their research thesis. Each stream is taught in a separate class so that all students in the quantitative stream are together in one class and all students in the qualitative stream are together in another class. In both streams, the unit looks beyond strategies for data collection (methods) and analysis to consider the importance of epistemology, methodology and ethics in conducting research. This includes exploring the different assumptions that inform quantitative or qualitative methodologies, the appropriateness of different research methods in the context of the research questions being posed, the implications for knowledge claims, and for report writing. This unit also links to the research thesis component of the Honours course, in that students both give an individual oral presentation and submit a written assignment on their proposal for their thesis project.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Critique the principles and assumptions that underpin different forms of research design and methodology;
    2. Apply and evaluate advanced research methods skills including design, analysis and presentation;
    3. Postulate appropriate research questions and justify techniques used to answer set research questions; and
    4. Interpret the results of data analysis in a meaningful way.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Presentation
    Grade: 30%
    Individual research proposal presentation (15-20 minutes)
    Assessment type: Assignment
    Grade: 50%
    Individual research plan; 2 parts - 25% each (2000 words)
    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 20%
    Final Test (1.5 hours)

    Required reading

    Discovering statistics using SPSS
    Field, A. (2018).| SAGE Publications Ltd.
    Introducing qualitative research in psychology: Adventures in theory and methods
    Willig, C. (2013).| Open University Press.

    As part of a course

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

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