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HSM4305 - Research Methods for Human Services

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Karen Crinall


Gippsland First semester 2007 (Off-campus)


This unit provides a framework for designing research methodologies relevant to the human services and community development, by examining the history, nature, function and current role of research in the industry. By focusing on the management of research projects, students engage in exercises requiring the resolution of ethical and methodological issues and dilemmas, including negotiating the selection of appropriate design and method; developing awareness of underpinning agendas and vested interests; and knowledge of philosophical and theoretical positions. Issues concerning research with individuals, groups, communities and organisations in a range of contexts are also explored and examined.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to: engage with research in human service and community organisations as a creative, problem-solving activity; demonstrate awareness of, and critical engagement with theoretical, practical and ethical considerations in human services research design and conduct; demonstrate knowledge and skills in conducting and evaluating research and skills in the management of research projects. Students will also be able to: demonstrate awareness of the options and constraints of different types of research design, including qualitative and quantitative methodologies; identify appropriate methods for conducting research across a range of contexts, and design an appropriate research methodology.


Assignment 1: Determining research methods (4500 words) : 50%
Assignment 2: Research project design (4500 words) : 50%

Contact hours

Students will be expected to participate for a minimum of one hour per fortnight in on-line activities and discussion. Where possible students will be encouraged to arrange face-to-face consultation with the unit adviser.


Two of HSM4301, HSM4302, HSM4303, HSM4304, or all of RCD4601, RCD4602, RCD4603, RCD4604