Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course comprises two streams. The first stream introduces students to the utility of the Social Sciences; to an understanding of the social world in which social scientists operate to develop and run social programs; and to social issues and debates which relate to the professional work of social scientists. The major assignment for the second stream is a focus group - run the group, transcribe the interview and analyse the interview data. Along with this a series of practical workshops which will provide students with the skills necessary to undertake this task and produce a professional research report. In addition to interview and analysis skills, the workshops will cover: computer literacy, effective use of the internet, and competency with word processing, spreadsheets, databases and presentation software as they apply in the Social Sciences. Other aspects of professional practice such as written, oral and interpersonal communication skills, and working in groups are also covered. Students are expected to reach a level of competence in these skills, starting from very different skill backgrounds.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2022


  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a proficient understanding of foundational social science knowledge and debates in the areas of program management, policy analysis and social research.

2. Critically appraise and discuss the relevant literature .

3. Competently use a range of information and communication technologies in social sciences and humanities.

4. Demonstrate professional competency in written, oral, group work and interpersonal communication skills.


This course introduces students to the foundational skills and knowledge required for professional practice in a range of Social Science related careers, with a focus on social research, social policy and the social context of government interventions in society.

Seminars will provide:

  • foundational knowledge of social research methods, including epistemological debates and links between social theory and various methods;
  • an understanding of the key aspects of the social world in which professions in the social sciences operate;
  • an understanding of the broad frameworks through which social policy is created and enacted.

Tutorial Workshops will cover:

interview techniques, transcription of interview material and analysis of interview data, foundational computer skills (word processing, spreadsheets and critical use of the internet), effective library research (including use of electronic databases), time management, research report and essay writing, presentation skills and use of MS PowerPoint, referencing and plagiarism, managing group work, and interpersonal communication skills.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Science and associated combined programs.

Assumed knowledge

SOCA1010 Society and Culture: A Sociological Introduction.

Assessment items

Essay: Essay (30%)

Report: Research Report (40%)

Presentation: Oral Presentation (10%)

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Executive Skill Set Exercises In class exercises (20%)

Contact hours

Ourimbah and Callaghan

Computer Lab

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


Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks


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

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.