OnlineSession 1Session 1

Unit description

Develops students’ research knowledge and skills so that they are able to read research reports and use research evidence to inform practice. Students learn to set up and conduct small-scale research projects involving both quantitative and qualitative methods. Examines the political, ethical and organisational contexts of research in social work.

Unit content

1. Introduction to social work research

2. Reading research and critically evaluating research quality

3. Research design and research proposals

4. Using research to inform practice

5. Sampling and data collection

6. Data collection continued

7. Qualitative data analysis

8. Quantitative data analysis

9. Program evaluation and action research

10. Narrative research

11. Ethics applications, project implementation, and dissemination

12. Conclusion

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Alston, M & Bowles, W, 2018, Research for Social Workers: An Introduction to Methods, 4th edn, Allen & Unwin, Sydney. ISBN: 9781742378893.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Structured online learning 3 hours (12 weeks)
Exam: take home30%
Discussion board20%
Research Proposal50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


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