ATS2831 - Research in the social sciences - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Social Sciences


Dr George Van Doorn

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Online)


Students need to contact the Arts Student ServicesArts Student Services ( desk to enrol in the unit.


We live in an information-rich world, with details about any topic readily available. On a daily basis we are fed the latest research findings from a variety of so-called experts. The ability to analyse information critically and carefully evaluate it for ourselves has never been more important, and yet such skills are less likely to be taught. This unit provides an introduction to the basic concepts necessary for understanding and undertaking research, particularly in the social and psychological sciences. A range of research methods and the situations in which those methods can be appropriately applied are explored, along with general research design, research ethics, data collection techniques, and research reporting. The unit also explores a number of approaches to critical thinking that will stand students in good stead as life-long learners, regardless of their course and major.


On successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Understand the components, stages and content research properly conducted
  2. Know the appropriate use of a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods along with their strengths and weaknesses;
  3. Have improved their proficiency in research reporting skills;
  4. Extended their ability to critically evaluate published research;
  5. Honed their critical thinking skills.


Within semester assessment: 60% + Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 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)

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


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


ATS2723, ATS3723