• Offered by Department of Political and Social Change
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences

In this course, students will develop an advanced understanding of the principles and methods of qualitative research on government, politics, and society. These skills will enable students to critically evaluate the value of arguments made in published academic, policy, and journalistic research. Students will also be able to use these skills to conduct original qualitative research of their own. The course will concentrate on how qualitative data is collected and how it is analyzed. Qualitative data can be collected in a number of ways, each of which requires consideration of important theoretical and practical issues. Data sources for qualitative research include archives and other written sources, interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork. Students will learn the pros and cons of each method and the different ontologies and epistemologies underpinning them, read exemplary works, and apply the methods in assignments. The analysis of qualitative data also poses special challenges. Students will gain exposure to various methods of data analysis including historical process tracing, discourse and narrative analysis, and content analysis.   

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically evaluate various methods of qualitative data collection in the political and social sciences;
  2. Critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of analyzing qualitative social science data;
  3. Develop a variety of communication and critical-thinking skills needed in sustaining socially-engaged and ethical scholarship in political science research;
  4. Apply the principals of good research design, especially as regards qualitative data collection and analysis, in developing their own research.
  5. Utilize qualitative data to communicate knowledgeably on range of topics within the area of government, politics, and society.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Seminar Preparation Notes  (5) [LO 1,2]
  2. Seminar Participation  (5) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Critical Review Essay (2,000) (25) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Research Essay (4,500) (65) [LO 2,3,4,5]

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.

Workload

Approximately 130 hours comprising seminars as well as associated preparation, independent study, and assessment time.

Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed POLS4044.

Prescribed Texts

N/A

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
14
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
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.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3786 17 Feb 2025 24 Feb 2025 31 Mar 2025 23 May 2025 In Person N/A

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