HCS408 Social Work Honours Dissertation (16)

Students have the opportunity to develop research practice skills and to integrate theory and practice in a research setting, which may also be the place of their second practicum. Students move beyond the assessment stages of social work practice to specifically implementing a research methodology and engaging in critical analysis of the results and outcomes for the social work discipline. By the end of the subject students will have produced a 10,000 word dissertation.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: HCS408. 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



Two sessions


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Only available to students in Bachelor of Social Work Honours and Combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Social Work Honours by invitation.

Assumed Knowledge

HCS204 and HCS200 and HCS202 and HCS303

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate the ability to undertake a piece of research and write it up in the form of a dissertation.


This subject will cover the following topics:

(Dependent upon the research proposal) - Initiating social research - formulating a research topic - exploratory studies - operational definitions (operationalisation) - formulation of hypotheses - reference to both quantitative and qualitative research. - Research design - sampling procedures in qualitative and quantitative research - types of sampling - sample size - Methods of data collection in quantitative and quantitative research - surveys, indirect methods, observation - unobtrusive methods - experiments and sociometry - field research, case studies and group discussion - administrative considerations - working with computers - Pretests and pilot studies - collection of data - quantitative and qualitative procedures - administrative and methodological considerations - Data analysis - quantitative and qualitative procedures - Data presentation - report writing - Thesis preparation and presentation

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of HCS408 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 %
Bsw honours research proposal
Bsw honours research progress report

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.