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Unit of study_

GOVT6139: Research Design

This unit will provide students with the fundamentals for constructing and conducting effective research projects in the social sciences. An overview of social science inquiry will be presented through an examination of the diversity in theoretical and methodological approaches used in research. This will include a focus on both primary research, using interviews and questionnaires, and secondary research, using statistical databases, content analysis and textual analysis. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be covered in the unit, as will an overview of ethical practices associated with research design. The assessment will be based around constructing practical research projects that can be utilised in both university and workplace-based research.

Code GOVT6139
Academic unit Government and International Relations
Credit points 6

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Develop an understanding of a range of research approaches in the social sciences, including the ontological and epistemological foundations of different approaches.
  • LO2. Develop an understanding of the building blocks of research in the social sciences, including research questions, hypotheses, causal inference, and case selection.
  • LO3. Develop familiarity with commonly used methodological tools in empirical research including interviews, focus groups, surveys and introductory statistical methods.
  • LO4. Develop skills to critically engage with research in the social sciences, by understanding the processes by which research is conducted and the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.
  • LO5. Formulate a research question and develop a research proposal to examine the question, including identification of a suitable research design and methodological approach.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 2 weeks before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.