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SCY2261 - Social research methods

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Dharma Arunachalam, Naomi White


Caulfield Second semester 2009 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)
South Africa Second semester 2009 (Day)


Doing sociological research requires us to think conceptually, to systematically plan how we might obtain valid information relevant to the research questions we are asking, and to analyze information. Because sociological research draws on people's experiences, its conduct inevitably raises ethical and political questions. In this unit, we will discuss these issues. We will also consider various qualitative and quantitative research strategies and data gathering techniques available to us when we seek to document the social world.


On completion of the unit, students will have

  • An understanding of the strengths, limitations and appropriate applications of quantitative and qualitative approaches to research;
  • Knowledge of methods commonly used in both quantitative and qualitative research;
  • Understanding of the theoretical, practical and ethical considerations in research;
  • Knowledge of issues related to the design and implementation of social science research; and
  • Skills relevant to working in groups.


Individual and group written work 50%
Tests 50%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week


A first-year sequence in Sociology or permission


SCY 3261

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