GSSA 3018 - Social Research Advanced: Real World Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

The aim of Social Research Advanced level is to apply students' knowledge and understanding of research - how and why it is done and to expose students to different theoretical perspectives and methodologies employed by researchers in conducting social research. Students will undertake an independent research project from design (formulate a research question, the methods used to obtain data, fieldwork, the interpretation of data collected and the writing up of research findings). Students will also be taught about ethical considerations in social research and how the research findings inform social change.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GSSA 3018
    Course Social Research Advanced: Real World Practice
    Coordinating Unit Gender Studies and Social Analysis
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 Arts courses & GWSI 2110 or GSSA 2110
    Incompatible GWSI 3017, GSSA 3017
    Assumed Knowledge Broad understanding of Social Research Methods
    Course Description The aim of Social Research Advanced level is to apply students' knowledge and understanding of research - how and why it is done and to expose students to different theoretical perspectives and methodologies employed by researchers in conducting social research. Students will undertake an independent research project from design (formulate a research question, the methods used to obtain data, fieldwork, the interpretation of data collected and the writing up of research findings). Students will also be taught about ethical considerations in social research and how the research findings inform social change.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Andrew Hope

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 Describe the purpose of a Literature Review and recognise the need for and components of an Ethics Application as required in any Social Research project.
    2 Locate, analyse and synthesise academic literature into a Literature Review, and develop a research question in a timely and effective manner.
    3 Develop a research question and design an independent research project including an Ethics Application, survey and interview instruments.
    4 Recruit research participants using online survey generators and social media.
    5 Conduct face to face research interviews according to social, cultural and ethical protocols and with professional integrity.
    6 Analyse quantitative and qualitative data and communicate the findings through a research report and oral presentation.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3-5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4-6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 5, 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3, 5, 6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Social Research Methods, edited by Maggie Walter, South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, Second Edition 2010 or Third Edition 2013. The book is available from Uni Books and there are three copies in the Barr Smith Library.
    Online Learning
    Additional course-related material is available through MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures provide information about an aspect of social research and details of assignment requirements. The workshops are divided into one hour of group work around practicing a particular research skill, and one hour of working on independent projects in concert with other students and the course coordinator.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 1-hour lecture (or equivalent) per week 12 hours per semester
    1 x 2-hour workshop (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    9 hours reading per week 108 hours per semester
    7 hours research per week 84 hours per semester
    7 hours assignment preparation per week 84 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 312 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Introduction
    Week 2 Conducting an Independent Research Project
    Week 3 Social Research Skills in the Workplace
    Week 4 Writing a Literature Review
    Week 5 Preparing a Research Proposal
    Week 6 Ethical Dimensions
    Week 7 Sampling & Surveys
    Week 8 Respectful Interviewing
    Week 9 Analysing Quantitative Data
    Week 10 Analysing Qualitative Data
    Week 11 Presenting Findings
    Week 12 Writing a Research Report
    Specific Course Requirements
    This course requires students to carry out their own fieldwork. Students will be implementing a survey, and they will be conducting three face-to-face interviews on the North Terrace campus of the University of Adelaide. Participants in both the surveys and interviews will be current University of Adelaide students. Step by step guidance will be provided by the Course Coordinator.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Oral presentation Formative and Summative 10% 1-6
    1000 word ethics aplication, survey and interview instrument Formative and Summative 20% 1-6
    1500 word literature review Formative and Summative 25% 1-6
    3500 word final research paper Formative and Summative 45% 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    Oral Presentation (10%)
    Students are required to briefly summarise and present their research project and findings to date.

    1000 word ethics application, survey and interview instrument (20%)
    Students are required to complete a pre-designed Ethics Application as approval from an Ethics Committee is an important component of any social research project. In preparation for fieldwork, students are also required to submit the survey they have designed and the interview guide they have prepared.

    1500 word literature review (25%)
    Students are required to write a 1500 word review of the academic literature in preparation for the research project.

    3500 word final research paper (45%)
    This is a written report on the entire project, including an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
    Submission
    The 1500 literature review, 1000 word ethics application and oral presentation must be submitted electronically via MyUni. The 3500 final research paper is to be submitted in hard copy to the School of Social Sciences office.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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