This course will provide students with a detailed understanding of the main techniques for the collection of social science data that is relevant to policy, business and service delivery decisions. Students will be well placed to design and undertaken their own research and to commission others to undertake design, fieldwork and analysis.
Content will cover quantitative surveys (questionnaire design, fieldwork techniques (CATI, online, f2f), cognitive testing) and qualitative methods (in-depth interviews, focus groups, observational techniques), sampling, weighting and assessing representativeness of data, total survey error, creation of data sets for analysis using administrative data, cross-sectional versus longitudinal data.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:1. Identify testable research questions applicable to the social sciences.
2. Discuss in detail the strengths and weaknesses of different types of data.
3. Design a rigorous quantitative empirical strategy.
4. Design a rigorous qualitative empirical strategy.
5. Adjust survey, qualitative and administrative data for analysis by others.
Indicative AssessmentClass participation (5%) LO1-5
Assignment 1 - Development and testing of a survey instrument, with justification (1,500 words, 15%) LO1,2
Assignment 2 - Development of an empirical strategy for qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods data (3,500 words, 35%) LO1,3,4
Oral presentation - Discussion of an empirical strategy (10 minutes, 20%) LO3,4,5
Class test (2 hours, 25%) LO2,5
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: made up of face-to-face lectures, tutorials and online activities; and b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsTo be provided on the course Wattle site.
Selected chapters from:
- Bryman, A. (2012). Social research methods. Oxford university press.
- Groves, R. M., Fowler Jr, F. J., Couper, M. P., Lepkowski, J. M., Singer, E., & Tourangeau, R. (2011). Survey methodology. John Wiley & Sons.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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