SOC205 Social Research (8)

This subject provides a structured introduction to social research including quantitative, qualitative and feminist methods. It explains what is involved in doing research, e.g. how research is designed, how information is collected by means of interviews, questionnaires, observation, experiments, or case studies, and how information is processed, analysed and interpreted. It demonstrates how computers are used in social research.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Bathurst Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SOC205. 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 Humanities and Social Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of methods of social research and of their advantages and limitations
  • be able to demonstrate skills for independently carrying out social research
  • be able to evaluate critically research findings and reports
  • be able to prepare research reports.


This subject will cover the following topics:

1.History and philosophy of science; basic assumptions and conceptual models of science; the politics of social research; varieties of social research: quantitative and qualitative methodology. 2.Principles of social research. Measurement and scaling: level of measurement for variables; validity; reliability. 3.The research process; research designs in quantitative and qualitative research. 4.Initiating social research; formulation of the research topic; exploratory studies; operational definitions (operationalisation); formulation of hypotheses; reference made to both quantitative and qualitative research. 5.Sampling procedures; principles and problems; types of sampling; sample size. 6.Methods of data collection in quantitative and qualitative research; surveys; pretests and pilot studies; interviewing; indirect and unobtrusive methods; observation; experiments; field research; case studies; administrative considerations; working with computers. 7.Data analysis: quantitative and qualitative procedures. 8.Introduction to statistical methods in social research; computers in social research (statistical software: SPSS).

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of SOC205 in Session 1 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 %
Understanding social research terms
Understanding social research methodologies
Understanding social research projects

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.