APG5050 - Communication research methods - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Communications and Media Studies


Dr John Tebbutt (Semester1)

Dr Andy Ruddock (Semester2)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The unit introduces students to principles of problem-solving in communication and media research. It will consider a range of traditional and emerging research methods - including textual analysis, content analysis, interviews, ethnographic fieldwork, digital humanities approaches, sentiment analysis and audience research. The focus, however, will be not be simply on learning and applying these methods, but also on understanding their relation to problems in the fields they address. The unit will develop skills in research design, from identifying productive research questions to selecting appropriate methodologies and project planning. These skills provide a platform for further development in the Communications Research Project or Masters Thesis.


  1. A familiarity with the major research methods used in communication and media studies.
  2. An understanding of the difference between research topics and research questions and an ability to identify productive research questions.
  3. An ability to apply research methods critically and appropriately in addressing research questions.
  4. A capacity to design research projects in communication and media studies, from conceptualization to project planning.
  5. An ability to develop innovative solutions to problems in communication and media studies [cf. Monash Graduate Attributes Policy].
  6. An ability to apply research skills to a range of challenges in communication and media studies [cf. Monash Graduate Attributes Policy].


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Dr John Tebbutt (Semester1)

Dr Andy Ruddock (Semester2)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study