• Offered by Australian Demographic & Social Research Institute
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Demography
  • Areas of interest Population Studies, Social Research
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Bruce Smyth
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Close links exist between policy, practice and research. Yet data is often not available to help inform policy and/or practice. The ability to conduct high quality research in applied settings constitutes a set of skills that continue to be highly sought by government and non-government agencies, industry, and academia more generally.

This course aims to provide students with a solid understanding of each phase in the life of a research project­ (conception, scoping, planning, doing, and finalisation)­ and the way in which the components within each phase fit together. The course is applied in nature, and seeks to complement related research methodology courses offered in the Master of Social Research. It aims to provide the conceptual framework to help students develop and manage their own research projects (for post-graduate research or for use in the workplace) or to be able to commision or manage research by others.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

To fulfil the aims of this course, students should be able to demonstrate that they:

  • understand the life cycle of a research project;
  • can frame research questions or testable hypotheses, and define and operationalise key concepts in their research;
  • can propose some research designs that are appropriate for their research question(s) or hypotheses;
  • understand the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis;
  • understand key ethical principles in the research process;
  • can write (a) a concept brief, (b) an ethics proposal, and (c) a research proposal or grant application;
  • can communicate and present research in a clear, factual manner; and have developed a capacity to evaluate the quality of research (including their own).


Other Information

Compulsory in all streams of the Master of Social Research.

Students not enrolled in the Master of Social Research or the Graduate Certificate in Social Research require permission of the Program Convenor, to enrol in this course. Please email adsri.study@anu.edu.au.

Indicative Assessment

(1) Class participation (5%) LO 1 - 6.

(2) Assignment 1 ­ Ethics protocol (2,000 words, 30%)  LO 3.

(3) Assignment 2 ­ Research proposal (3,000 words, 40%)  1, 2, 4, 5, 6.

(4) Class test (2 hours, 25%)  LO 3, 5, 6.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Three and a half hours per week on campus.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed DEMO8061 and studying a Graduate Certificate in Social Research or Master of Social Research. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading


W Lawrence Neuman (2006), Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (sixth edition)


de Vaus, D.A. (2002), Surveys in Social Research (5th edition), Allen and Unwin, Sydney

Robson, C. (2002), Real world research (2nd edition), Blackwell, London



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1990 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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