• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Policy Studies, Social Research, Sociology, Criminology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Gavin Smith
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

In this course we explore the nature of qualitative research and how we can use this approach to better understand the richness and complexities of social life. Whilst we explore established techniques such as interviewing and participant observation, emphasis is also placed on how emerging techniques such as soundwalking and visual and digital methods can push traditional research practices in new directions which perhaps better reflect the character and concerns of today's world.

Learning Outcomes

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. explain and address social problems by utilising a range of qualitative research methods;
  2. understand the practical, conceptual and ethical implications of using qualitative research methods and approaches;
  3. explicate the different ways in which qualitative methods are used and evaluated by social scientists;
  4. develop arguments about the practical, conceptual and ethical implications of using qualitative research methods for understanding and transforming the social world; and
  5. communicate findings in written and oral form with reference to broader debates within sociology and related cognate disciplines.

Other Information

The lecture will be approximately 50 minutes in duration, and the seminars will be approximately 90 minutes in duration so that more practical activities can be completed.

Indicative Assessment

Observation exercise, 1250 words (25%). Learning outcomes 1,2,3,5.
Interview exercise, 1250 words (25%). Learning outcomes 1,2,3,5.
Synthesis take-home examination, 2000 words (40%). Learning outcomes 2-5.
Seminar participation (10%). Learning outcomes 4,5.

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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 18 hours of lectures, and 18 hours of student-led seminars; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level Sociology (SOCY) courses, which may include CRIM1001, or with permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENVS2014 or SRES2014.

Assumed Knowledge

This course assumes that students have a basic familiarity with sociological perspectives and approaches.




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
2019 $3000
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4560
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
8286 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person N/A

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