Faculty of Business and Economics

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

0 points, SCA Band 3, 0.000 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Business and Economics


Professor Julie Wolfram Cox



  • Term 3 2016 (On-campus block of classes)


  • Term 3 2016 (On-campus block of classes)


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:

  1. enhance awareness of the multiple epistemological and ontological perspectives that underpin research at HDR level
  2. increase understanding of the principles involved in producing sound complex arguments as required in writing a HDR thesis
  3. consider and evaluate research papers presented in the research seminar series
  4. evaluate the literature, philosophical traditions, methods and problems associated with several topics
  5. 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%

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


BEX6100 or BEX6200 and students must be enrolled in the 0029 Doctor of Philosophy or 3194 Master of Philosophy before undertaking this unit.