Course Outline

SCS225 Social Research

Course Coordinator:Peter Innes (pinnes@usc.edu.au) School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 2

USC Sunshine Coast

USC Moreton Bay

USC Fraser Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Online

Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?

Description

This course equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to evaluate, conduct and commission social research. In order to understand how social data are produced and analysed, the connections between theoretical orientations, methodology and methods of social research are explored. You will examine and also apply popular research methods and develop and evaluate a research proposal. Controversial debates concerning ethics, the relationship of science to social research, issues of validity, and research with minorities are also examined.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online Learning Materials 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus tutorial - 2 hours for 11 weeks 2hrs Week 2 11 times
Online
Learning materials – Pre-recorded concept videos and associated activity 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Interactive 2 hour Zoom tutorial 2hrs Week 2 11 times

Course Topics

 

Foundations/Nature of Social Research

Research Design & The Research Process

Sampling

Ethics and Social Research

Critical and Functional Research Methodologies

Surveys

Qualitative Interviewing Methods

Content and Discourse Analysis

Practice and Evaluation 

Analysing Qualitative Data

Analysing Quantitative Data I

Analysing Quantitative Data II

Finale – Overview of Course

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Critical understanding of the nature and purposes of social research and its contribution to knowledge and theory in the social sciences. Knowledgeable
Empowered
2 Critical understanding of current methodological debates and issues in social research and the ethical dimensions of research practice. Knowledgeable
Ethical
3 Capacity to apply the key methods of social research. Knowledgeable
4 Advanced capacity to develop, design and evaluate coherent strategies in social research. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.

Pre-requisites

Any 2 courses or enrolled in Program AR707 or AR708

Co-requisites

Not applicable

Anti-requisites

Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Timely and detailed feedback is provided for each assessment. Feedback is provided both within text and general comments to build scholarly skills. Students are able to seek feedback through face-to-face discussion with the course coordinator. Tutorials will include extended discussion and review of the assessment task requirements and scope.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 25%
1 hour
Week 5 Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Case Study Individual 40%
6 x 1hr sessions
Refer to Format Online Test (Quiz)
All 3 Case Study Individual 35%
Structured template/question response
Week 13 Online Test (Quiz)
All - Assessment Task 1:Online test
Goal:
To demonstrate emerging knowledge of the concepts, theories and issues regarding social research
Product: Quiz/zes
Format:
The multiple choice test will be delivered online through Canvas in Week 5 for a period of three days. This individual assessment item will test your knowledge and understanding of the key concepts, theories and issues introduced in the first four weeks of the course. Each test will be graded according to the number of accurate answers to the multiple-choice questions you complete
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Each test will be graded according to the number of accurate answers to the multiple-choice questions you complete
1 2
All - Assessment Task 2:Workshop exercises
Goal:
To critically apply and demonstrate your emerging knowledge of social research methods
Product: Case Study
Format:
Submit: Weeks 6-12. You will participate in six workshops conducted in Weeks 6-12 tutorials of the course. Each of these will focus on building practical social research skills. The Task 2 assessments focus on design and analysis of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and as such, align with key topics (learning materials and workshops) of survey design (Part A) and interview question development (Part B) and then quantitative data analysis (Part C) and qualitative textual analysis (Part D). Each of these topic areas will be tested (Parts A/B/C/D) with online quizzes representing your answers to provided questions and case materials.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
Effectively applying theories, approaches, and concepts presented in the learning materials, exercised in workshops, to provided case study materials (survey example, interview scripts, analysis of datasets).
1 3 4
2
The case study questions and materials from Parts A/B/C & D will be tested through online quizzes.
1 3 4
All - Assessment Task 3:Research Proposal Development and Evaluation
Goal:
To critically apply your knowledge to demonstrate your capacity to evaluate choices in the context of a coherent research strategy (i.e. linking course content and thinking to an existing piece of research).
Product: Case Study
Format:
Using provided published research, you are required to evaluate the research on a template (provided with the case study) and evaluate it using the online structured answer format. The questions and case study research will be provided in advance before online submission of answers. Details will be posted on Canvas.
Criteria:
No. Learning Outcome assessed
1
The research provided is evaluated on all areas indicated in the template (based on learning material content);
1 2 3 4
2
This includes identification of the key areas in the provided research, aligned to key structured template content (e.g. research question, theory, methodology, methods, ethics, sampling, analyses etc)
1 2 3 4
3
Considered implications of the research choices, including where omitted.
1 2 4

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Maggie Walter 2019 Social Research Methods n/a Oxford University Press, USA

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.

SafeUSC

USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email safe@usc.edu.au.

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au.

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or studentcentral@usc.edu.au.

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email studentwellbeing@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email AccessAbility@usc.edu.au or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website: https://www.usc.edu.au/explore/policies-and-procedures#academic-learning-and-teaching

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • USC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • USC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • USC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890
  • Email:studentcentral@usc.edu.au