Applied Social Research

Description

In this course students develop a comprehensive understanding of social science methods for the design of social inquiry. This course concentrates on the collection and analysis of quantitative data and the reporting of results. Students develop an understanding of the uses, strengths and limitations of various methods, ethical issues in conducting social inquiry, debates over epistemology, and skills in design, report writing, and interpretation of numerical data. The computer workshops will include an introduction to appropriate software packages such as SPSS. The course does not require previous statistical knowledge.

Availability

Callaghan Campus

  • Semester 2 - 2015

Ourimbah

  • Semester 2 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of social science methods, related ethical issues, and the relationship between social science methods and social theory.

2. Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of various social science methods and select appropriate methods to answer and resolve social science questions and problems.

3. Effectively communicate results in written and oral form.

Content

This course is a prescribed course for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Science and is also open to all students as an elective. It particularly provides grounding in social science methods as preparation for continued development of research methods skills in SOCS3200 Applied Social Research.

In this course students develop a comprehensive understanding of social science methods for the design of social inquiry, the collection and analysis of quantitative data and the reporting of results.

Topics will include:

  • consideration of the relationship between knowledge and social science methodology,
  • the use and misuse of social science techniques,
  • the use of evidence to substantiate conclusions, and the ethics of social inquiry.

In relation to quantitative research, the course will develop competencies in:

  • the collection and processing of numerical data,
  • visualisation and presentation techniques,
  • questionnaire design and processing,
  • descriptive and inferential statistics, using a range of computing packages which may include Excel and SPSS.

Through this students will develop an understanding of:

  • the strengths and limitations of various methods,
  • ethical issues in conducting research,
  • debates over epistemology and interpretation,
  • skills in social inquiry design, report writing, and
  • interpretation of numerical and statistical data.

Assumed Knowledge

40 units of study at 1000 level.

Assessment Items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Workshop Exercises

Written Assignment: Written Assignments

Quiz: Quiz

Contact Hours

Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Workshop

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks