Faculty of Business and Economics

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Business and Economics
OfferedCaulfield RQ2 2011 (Day)
Caulfield RQ3 2011 (Day)
Caulfield RQ4 2011 (Day)
Gippsland RQ1 2011 (Day)
Sunway RQ1 2011 (Day)
Sunway RQ1 2011 (Evening)
Sunway RQ2 2011 (Day)
Sunway RQ2 2011 (Evening)
Sunway RQ3 2011 (Day)
Sunway RQ3 2011 (Evening)
Sunway RQ4 2011 (Day)
Sunway RQ4 2011 (Evening)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Mark Dibben


This unit discusses the fundamental epistemological premises on which HDR research may be developed. It explores ways of formulating research question(s) and hypotheses, and identifies assumptions and theories that are relevant in the development of a conceptual framework for research. The topics discussed will cover principles of the scientific method, key epistemological perspectives in the social sciences (e.g. positivism, interpretivism, social constructivism, hermeneutics, functionalism, critical theory) and argument analysis (e.g. avoiding fallacies in scientific reasoning, evaluating and constructing sound arguments). These discussions will clarify the theoretical and practical underpinnings of research design, inform subsequent analyses of how to select different research methods (qualitative, quantitative, mixed), and illustrate key issues associated with main argument development in a HDR thesis. Finally, the unit will examine ways of presenting a compelling theoretical and practical case for the epistemological significance of a HDR project, and examine how this approach could increase the likelihood of successful publication of research results.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  • enhance awareness of the multiple epistemological and ontological perspectives that underpin research at HDR level
  • increase understanding of the principles involved in producing sound complex arguments as required in writing a HDR thesis
  • consider and evaluate research papers presented in the research seminar series
  • evaluate the literature, philosophical traditions, methods and problems associated with several topics
  • apply knowledge of ontological, epistemological, methodological and procedural assumptions to the preparation of papers that demonstrate an advanced understanding of the assumptions, methodology, techniques and results of research.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Contact hours

36 hours per semester (split-block mode) of formal class contact.


0029 or 3194


BEX6100 or BEX6200