CUS551 Customs Research Methods (8)

The subject introduces students to research methodology and planning in the context of the Customs Administration and its related disciplines. The subject focuses on research traditions and paradigms relevant to the student's discipline, and the nature of the research process, including planning and designing a research project. In consultation with their supervisor/mentor students will be required to propose/select a research topic, develop appropriate research method(s) and undertake a preliminary literature review.


Session 1 (30)
Canberra Campus
Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: CUS551. 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


Centre for Customs and Excise Studies

Subject Relationships

CUS550 This subject is a prerequisite subject for CUS550 Customs Research Project

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an informed understanding of the broad body of knowledge in the specialist field of customs administration, including recent developments in theory and practice
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the role and potential of research in the field of Customs Administration and related disciplines, including concepts and theories in a professional and/or academic context
  • be able to select, evaluate, justify and communicate appropriate research methods for their chosen topic area
  • be able to develop a research plan to explore critically the issues in their chosen topic area in depth and with balance
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the importance and various roles of the literature review in research.
  • be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the ethical issues in research and their particular relevance to Customs Administration, including recognising the significance of consent, confidentiality and other ethical considerations in relation to research
  • be able to formulate and articulate well-developed approaches to a research project, including specificity of purpose and a clear set of objectives
  • be able to demonstrate the research skills and expertise necessary to prepare a major paper or a work-based project


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Research Process, Planning and Design
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methodologies
  • Developing a research proposal
  • Conducting a review of the literature
  • Ethics in research

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of CUS551 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Online participation
Literature review and annotated bibliography
Research plan

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.