• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Policy Studies, Sociology, Criminology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Gavin Smith
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

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

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. explain the key tenets, features and value of qualitative research;
  2. understand the practical, conceptual and ethical implications of using qualitative methods and approaches in social research;
  3. comprehend and evaluate the various qualitative techniques that are used by researchers in the pursuit of their studies;
  4. develop practical experience in using qualitative methods in the course of project-based learning and reflecting critically on the process of doing social research; and
  5. communicate methodological arguments and research findings in written and oral form with reference to broader methodological, conceptual and substantive debates within sociology and related cognate disciplines.

Other Information

The weekly lecture is 60 minutes in length and the workshops are 120 minutes in length, so that more practical and collaborative activities can be completed.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Methodology Essay, 1000 words (25) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  2. Designing Qualitative Research Exercise, 1000 words (25) [LO 2,3,4,5]
  3. Workshop Participation, continuous (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Qualitative Research Reflection, 2000 words (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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: 12 hours of lectures, and 24 hours of student-led workshops; and

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

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. Students are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENVS2014 or SRES2014. Students are not permitted to take this course in the first year of their studies.

Prescribed Texts

There are no prescribed texts for this course. These vary from year to year.

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
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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
7831 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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