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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedClayton First semester 2010 (Off-campus)
Clayton First semester 2010 (Evening)
Clayton Second semester 2010 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2010 (Evening)
Coordinator(s)Dr Mary-Lou Rasmussen (For Module 1); Assoc. Prof. Paul Richardson (For Module 2)


The unit consists of two modules. Module 1 provides an overview of significant debates about the nature of knowledge and different research approaches in the fields of social science and education, including ethical issues in research. Module 2 examines qualitative research approaches (e.g. case study, narrative inquiry, new ethnography, action research), focusing on key epistemological and methodological debates. Students will be introduced to ways of using different research methods within qualitative research, such as interviewing, observations, visual data, and textual analysis.


Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • understand different research perspectives and methodologies in the field of education and social sciences;
  • have an awareness of their ethical responsibilities when undertaking research;
  • reflect on the meanings and motivations they bring to the research endeavour;
  • perceive the interconnections between research questions, data forums, research methodologies and methods
  • formulate research questions and link these to designs;
  • engage with the epistemological and methodological underpinnings of qualitative research approaches (eg case study, narrative inquiry, new ethnography, action research);
  • understand the particular uses of a range of research methods within these approaches (eg interviewing, observations, visual data, text analysis)
  • design ways to generate and analyse qualitative data;
  • interpret and critically evaluate examples of qualitative research.


Two research papers together comprising 8000 words

Chief examiner(s)

Dr MaryLou Rasmussen

Contact hours

3 hours per week