SWK504 Human Services Research Methods (8)

This subject will prepare students for post-graduate human services research by examining different epistemologies and methodologies and by focussing on research methods appropriate to human services situations. Topics will include needs analysis, program evaluation and action research as well as survey research design, sampling, methods of data collection, data analysis and presentation of research findings.


Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SWK504. 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

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Understand the place of research in human services
  • Be able to differentiate between epistemologies and methodologies relevant to the human services field
  • Understand types of sampling, methods of data collection and data analysis techniques appropriate to human services settings
  • Have developed research proposals and written up research reports
  • Understand the ethical components of human services research
  • Understand the social and political context in which research takes place
  • Understand the place of research as a tool for social change


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Importance of Human Services Research and the Ethical Implications
  • Epistemology of Human Services Research
  • Overview of different approaches to research eg feminist, quantitative, qualitative
  • Traditional Social Science Methods
  • Feminist Methods
  • Critical Interpretative Methods
  • Conducting a Needs Analysis
  • Program Evaluation
  • Secondary and Discourse Analysis
  • Action Research
  • Field Research
  • Presentation of Research findings
  • Data Analysis
  • Research, Policy and Change

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of SWK504 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 %
Assessment item 1
Assessment item 2

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.