BTX4900 - Research methods and proposal - 2018

12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate, Postgraduate - Unit

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


Business and Economics

Organisational Unit

Department of Business Law and Taxation

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Anne O'Rourke (First semester)
Dr Benjamin Hayward (Second semester)


Ms Anne O'Rourke (First semester)
Dr Benjamin Hayward (Second semester)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)
  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Students must be enrolled in course B3701 and undertaking the Business Law and Taxation specialisation.




This unit discusses the fundamental theoretical premises that can frame legal and regulatory research. 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 legal and social scientific methods, such as relational theory, comparative law, regulatory theory, social constructivism, systems theory and critical legal theory). Stress will be placed on developing argument analysis (e.g. avoiding fallacies in 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 the main arguments development in research work. The unit will also examine ways of presenting a compelling theoretical and practical case for legal and regulatory research. Finally, students will prepare a research proposal and report.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. enhance students' awareness of the core theoretical and methodological perspectives that underpin research about law and regulation at the honours level
  2. increase students' understanding of the principles involved in producing sound complex arguments as required in writing an approved research project
  3. consider and evaluate material presented in the research and methodology seminar series
  4. apply theoretical and methodological knowledge in the preparation of a research proposal for a research project.


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. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average six/eight 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