SCI415 Social Science Research Methods for Natural Resource Management (8)

In this subject researchers experience the thrills of identifying and creating new knowledge. Their research experience is enhanced by using appropriate and sound approaches. This subject supports students undertaking social science research in natural resource management. Students are exposed to all aspects of research from project development to publication and dissemination of findings. After an introduction to qualitative and quantitative methodologies students specialise in the study of methods they will use in their research. There is no residential school associated with this subject. On completion, students will have a range of specialised skills in the application of several social science research methodologies and be able to choice the most appropriate method to a research task.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 1 (30)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SCI415. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to Faculty of Science and Agriculture students enrolled in Honours or other research degrees or in Masters degrees by Coursework.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • have an in-depth understanding what is involved in the various stages of a research project
  • be able to write a competent research proposal
  • have an in-depth understanding of a range of social science research methods
  • be able to make sound judgements regarding the selection of social science research methods appropriate to a specific research task;
  • have specialised skills in the application of several social science research methodology
  • be able to write a research report
  • be able to recognise and address ethical issues in research


This subject will cover the following topics:

Students will study a common core and then specialise in either qualitative or quantitative methods. The two streams will combine for a final topic on publication and funding.

1. The nature of social research in natural resource management
2. Issue identification, problem refinement and hypothesis formulation
3. Social science theories and paradigms
4. Qualitative and quantitative methods: an overview
5. Qualitative and quantitative streams:
a. Qualitative:
- Interviewing
- Participant observation
- Analysing and presenting qualitative data
- Case studies of qualitative research
- Ethics
b. Quantitative:
- Survey design and administration
- Distributions, measures of central tendency and variability
- Bivariate and multivariate analysis
- Ethics
6. Report and thesis writing, journal publication, and research funding


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.