• Class Number 3503
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Sarbari Bordia
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

How do we research and how can we tell the difference between good and bad research? This is not an abstract question for those who intend to do postgraduate research. This course covers how to develop a good research topic, how to design successful projects and the practical skills to conduct qualitative field work. Issues of design and discovery are relevant to many students, but practical focus relates to the qualitative research tradition. This course is focused on the needs of business students but is also relevant to other areas of social science. The central activity to all of this is to develop a reflective understanding of the rules and expectation for good research in each disciplinary area. Therefore the reflective process is the core element of this course.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the need for a qualitative study through theoretical and empirical critical analysis of the literature
  2. Translate the problem into a set of clearly defined research questions for a full qualitative study
  3. Determine the appropriate qualitative or mixed methodology to acquire evidence relevant to the research questions
  4. Acquire a body of evidence using appropriate research methods
  5. Critically analyse the gathered evidence using appropriate method of analysis
  6. Synthesise findings from the pilot study to inform relevant academic literature and professional practice
  7. Produce structured written and oral proposals of the proposed full study including the findings from the pilot study

Research-Led Teaching

This course exposes students to a variety of qualitative research methodologies and methods commonly used in a variety of business and management research contexts. Students will develop skills in evaluating how methodological issues are addressed in published research and how to prepare research projects of their own. 

Field Trips

No field trips

Additional Course Costs

No additonal class costs

Examination Material or equipment

There are no examination for this course

Required Resources

No required resources

Please refer to Wattle site for further details.

Recommended readings will be provided earlier in the semester in preparation for the face to face classes

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Literature review preparation Draft of literature review due by Monday 25th March 9am
2 All day workshop - Monday 8 April: Introduction to qualitative research Theory building with qualitative research
3 All day workshop - Tuesday 9 April: Grounded theory
4 Wednesday 10 April: No workshop
5 All day workshop - Thursday 11 April: Action Research and Ethnography Qualitative case study Mixed methodology: When to use qualitative with quantitative
6 All day workshop - Friday 12 April: Skills/methods/tools required in qualitative research such as interviewing, observation, constant comparative analysis and writing up qualitative research * A variety of other qualitative methodologies will be discussed during the week 8-12 April. The workshop topics reflect the focus of discussion but may not be limited to the methodologies stated. · Interviewing · Observations · Document and textual analysis · Analysis of data · Introduction to analytic software · Writing up qualitative research Final version of literature review due by Tuesday 23rd April
7 Friday 24th May: Proposal Presentation and summary of course In-class presentation ( 20%) + submission of presentation slides and notes (10%) by 24th May 9am
8 Research report due by 31st May 9am

Tutorial Registration

Not relevant

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Literature review 20% 20 % 23/04/2019 07/05/2019 1,4
Presentation of proposal 30%. 30 % 18/05/2019 01/06/2019 3,4
Research report 50% 50 % 31/05/2019 04/07/2019 2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation is expected in all classes and assessments


There are no examinations for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 23/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 07/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,4

Literature review 20%

Word Count: 1500

Turnitin submission.

Students are entitled to submit a draft and receive formal feedback before the end of Week 6 and prior to a final grade being awarded on re-submission.

Draft due by Monday 25 March 0900.

Re-submission of final assessment 22 April.

Select at least three interesting, recent articles in a research area of interest to you that utilises qualitative methodology. Your assignment involves providing a summary and critical analysis of how each of your chosen papers addresses the line of enquiry on which you are focusing. Identify a gap or problem which would provide a motivation for a new research project.

Write a 1,500 word review (excluding references). Identify the following for each article:

(1) Research problem or issue under investigation

(2) Description and review of methodology

(3) Data gathering and methods of analysis and

(4) How the given article advanced knowledge of the field either by creating a new theory or extending an existing one (5) Highlight a research gap or issue in this work which could be the basis of a qualitative study.

1. Literature review


  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Poor
  • Very Poor


Content (3 marks each) /15

  •  Appropriate selection of papers
  •  Identification of a research gap or problem
  •  Description and review of methodology and analysis
  •  Description of theory creation/extension
  •  Identification of potential future research directions for qualitative research

5 Marks based on:

  •  How well your assignment was edited
  • To what extent you brought a critical perspective to your arguments and evidence to support them
  • Your ability to reference appropriately


Final Mark

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 18/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Presentation of proposal 30%.

Due: Friday 24 May.

You will be required to present in class on Friday 24 May. Please provide the assessor with a hard copy of your presentation slides on the day. Also, submit a soft copy of your slides by 0900 on Friday 24 May via Turnitin.

Choose a qualitative research methodology (e.g., ethnography, grounded theory, action research, etc.) that is likely to form the basis of your research proposal in Assignment 3

Explain the historical development of the methodology and the contributions of seminal works in the field. Highlight any salient aspects of the methodology and ways it may be differentiated from other qualitative research methodologies. Explain the kinds of research questions that your chosen methodology is best suited to address, and why you plan to select it for your research proposal.

Deliver a 20 min presentation in class aided with power point presentations (up to 25 slides) followed by 5-10 minutes of questions posed by your audience. The presentation will be recorded.

The slides will attract up to 10% of your mark for this assignment and the oral presentation, 20% of the total.

2.Oral Presentation


  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Poor
  • Very Poor


Content: 2 marks per criterion

  •  Historical development
  •  The contribution of seminal works
  •  Salient and characterising aspects of the methodology
  •  How it is differentiated from other qualitative methodologies?
  •  The kinds of questions this methodology is best suited to address
  •  The rationale for selecting it as a basis for your own research proposal.

Delivery: 2 marks per criterion

  • Logical, lucid progression of points and rational arguments
  •  Capacity to engage the audience 
  •  Grammatical delivery
  •  Clarity of delivery

Slides: 2 marks per criterion

  •  The text is large enough to read
  •  The points are clear and well edited
  •  Referencing convention is appropriate
  •  Ideas are formatted on each slide without too much detail but sufficient to grasp the point of the information delivered verbally.
  •  Graphics are relevant and clearly support the point expressed


Final Mark

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Research report 50%

Due: 31 May 9:00 am via Wattle

Word count: 2000-3000

Form of submission: via Turnitin

This assignment requires you to develop a research proposal of 2000-3000 words. The report should include the following: an abstract, rationale for the study and potential significance, research questions, a critical literature review of works focused on your line of enquiry that addresses the contribution of research to date and identifying any apparent gaps that suggest the need for further exploration and review and that have given rise to your research questions. Your proposal also needs to explain the methodology selected and your reason for doing so and details of data collection tools and the analytic technique you intend to adopt. Reflect on any ethical considerations that may arise. Your conclusion should highlight the main points presented in your proposal and highlight any apparent limitations of the study and how you are likely to address them. Include a reference list and appropriate in-text referencing to support your arguments.

3. Research Report


  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Satisfactory
  • Poor
  • Very Poor


  • The proposal addresses all the components/headings required in a thorough and informed manner (15 marks).
  •  The proposal demonstrates a critical engagement with the literature (20 marks).
  •  The assignment is well edited and progresses ideas in a logical manner (5 marks).
  •  Sources are appropriately referenced and of a high quality (10 marks).


Final Mark

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Please refer to assessment task details.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

?You are allowed to resubmit your assignments before the specific deadlines. Any submission done after the deadline will be considered as a late submission and the above listed penalty conditions will apply.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
AsPr Sarbari Bordia

Research Interests

My research interests include applied ethics, spiritual diversity in the workplace and its management, and international education in business and management contexts. Sometimes, these lines of enquiry intersect. As a passionate qualitative researcher and author and/or editor of nearly 60 published works, I enjoy working with students at all stages in their research journey. I hope that my experience as a supervisor of qualitative research and as a former Director of HDR in a university school of management will be of value to students enrolled in this course.  

AsPr Sarbari Bordia

Monday 10:00 12:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions