Available in 2021
Course code



20 units


4000 level

Course handbook


This course is the second of two Honours level courses that build knowledge and understanding about the history and philosophy of research in the social sciences. This course focuses specifically on the 'practice of research' and explores the idea of 'research as design'. The course enhances digital research skills and capacities in reading and literature reviewing, critical reasoning and argument. The course includes: discussions of pure and applied research methods in the social sciences; ethics; research design; and on-line bibliographic searches and writing techniques. Where appropriate this may involve external stakeholders and Work Integrated Learning (WIL).

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021
  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Use advanced features in appropriate reference, data analysis and data management software to systematically mange and organise quantitative and qualitative information.

2. Systematically and methodically analyse own and others' assumptions.

3. Critically evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.

4. Conduct high quality research at an Honours level.

5. Use professional academic writing conventions for the purposes of communicating complex ideas and procedures.


SCHS4100 will focus on the practice of research. Topics that will be covered may include:

  • Research design
  • Research problem
  • Hypo deductive reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Literature search
  • Literature review
  • Building a library
  • Data management
  • Ethics
  • Analysis
  • Report Writing


Students must be active in the Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) [10726] program to enrol in this course. Students who have successfully completed SOCA4100 or SPSW4020 cannot enrol in SCHS4100.

Assumed knowledge

A major in sociology and anthropology, human services or criminology with a minimum credit grade average.

Assessment items

In Term Test: Test - literature database strategies 10%

Written Assignment: Literature review 50%

Written Assignment: Research proposal 40%

Contact hours


Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 18 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.