The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code

SOCS2400

Units

10 units

Level

2000 level

Course handbook

Description

In this course students develop a comparative 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 research strategies and approaches to conducting social inquiry, and develop skills necessary for designing social survey research tools, data processing and analysis, the interpretation of numerical data and report writing. The computer workshops will include an introduction to appropriate software packages such as SPSS. The course does not require previous statistical knowledge.


Availability

Ourimbah

  • Semester 2 - 2020

Callaghan

  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a proficient understanding of a range of social research approaches and strategies, their applicability, strengths and weakness, and the relationship between social research methods and social theory.

2. Develop appropriate research tools for conducting quantitative research and evaluating their validity and reliability.

3. Apply appropriate primary data processing and data analysis skills using a relevant computer program.

4. Correctly interpret social figures and the results of data analyses and write up academic report on the findings.


Content

This course 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 broad comparative understanding of social science methods for the design of social inquiry, and more particularly 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 advantages and disadvantages of social science research designs and approaches,
  • 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 computing packages which may include Excel and SPSS.

Through this, students will develop an understanding of:

  • the strengths and limitations of various methods,
  • 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 Participation and Exercises (10%)

Project: Project I, Devising A Survey Questionnaire and its Research Rationale (35%)

Project: Project II, Secondary Data Analysis and Executive Report (40%)

Quiz: Online or In-class Quiz (15%)


Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

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