• Class Number 3669
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Marija Taflaga
    • Dr Marija Taflaga
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

This seminar style course will teach students the three main qualitative methods used in political science: (elite) Interviewing, document analysis and participant observation. In this practically-focused course, students will learn to generate research questions suited to qualitative methods, design research protocols and implement them. They will then learn how to go about analysing the data they produce or encounter.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. understand and identify qualitative methods in and their use in political science research;
  2. develop a research protocol and design using qualitative methods in political science;
  3. develop techniques and skills appropriate to the design and conduct of qualitative research for political science; and
  4. communicate effectively and defend in written format an empirical argument appropriate to political science.

Field Trips

Students will be able to participate in a field trip to Parliament House to view Question Time if the sitting calendar permits.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Asking good questions: Where does qualitative research fit in Political Science?
2 Elite Interviewing 1: what can we learn by interviewing?
3 Elite interviewing 2: Designing interview protocols
4 Participant observation 1: Designing participant observation protocols
5 Participant observation 2: What can we learn by being in the field? Research Design Paper due (15%) Thursday 16 March, 4pm
6 Analysing field data 1: Introduction to coding data
7 Analysing field data 1: Developing and refining our coding frames
8 Analysing field data 3: Triangulating evidence and introducing documents
9 Case number and case studies: What is a case and why does it matter how many I have? Method Reflection Paper (30%) Friday 5 May, 4pm
10 Institutions and Archives: Working with Archives
11 Sequencing and Process Tracing: Can we unpack causal processes?
12 Mixed Methods and Reporting data: How do we combine qualitative and quantitative approaches and what can it tell us about the world? Research Paper (45%) Wednesday 31 June, 4pm

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 10 % 1, 2, 3
Research design paper (1000 words) 15 % 1, 2, 3
Methods Reflective Paper (1000 – 1500 words) 30 % 2, 3, 4
Reserach Paper (3000-3500) 45 % 1, 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 Integrity 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 Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


This is a practice based course, and therefore active participation is an important part of this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Class Participation

Active participation in class activities (mock interviewing, participant observation etc). On occasion work not completed in class will need to be completed before the next lesson.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Research design paper (1000 words)

This is a formative assessment where students can identify their research question, literature, evidentiary sources and methods for the Research Paper (assessment item 4)

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4

Methods Reflective Paper (1000 – 1500 words)

This paper is a reflective essay on using document analysis and triangulation (you may include other methods taught in this course). Students will need to include a research protocol and/or their written field notes/ evidence sample. Students will analyse and triangulate an important document in Australian politics history. They may triangulate with other documents and/or other methods such as interviews or participant observation. For Interviews, students would use existing oral history and media records. For participant observation, students would attend Question Time or another relevant field site. The aim here is to have students critically reflect upon the research process.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 45 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Reserach Paper (3000-3500)

Students will answer a research question of their own devising. In this paper students would be expected to identify and analyse qualitative data using between one and three methods taught in the course. The high word limit allows students sufficient scope to present and engage with their qualitative data.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

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).

Dr Marija Taflaga

Research Interests

Dr Marija Taflaga

Wednesday By Appointment
Wednesday By Appointment
Dr Marija Taflaga

Research Interests

Dr Marija Taflaga

Wednesday By Appointment
Wednesday By Appointment

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