Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview

This unit focuses on the design of social research for academic and applied purposes. It deals with the logic and methods of social enquiry, particularly the application of social research methods to a range of contexts and social problems. Students learn how to develop a research proposal for academic and applied purposes using a range of methods and perspectives.
6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline timetabled
Students are able to (1) demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature of social research; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the core concepts and varieties of social research methods; (3) develop a high quality research proposal; (4) develop independent scholarship and writing skills; and (5) develop a broad understanding of ethical research.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research outline with annotated bibliography; (2) participation and research presentation; and (3) research proposal. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Benjamin Smith
Unit rules
for the following postgraduate course students (International Relations, Strategic Communications, Asian Studies, International Development, Public Policy): completion of 24 points of their coursework, three core units and one option unit, and have achieved a 70 per cent WAM in those units; for other students: none.
SOCS5003 Research Design (ID 5135) BUSN4403 Business Research Methodology (ID 1661) GEOG5550 Research Design (ID 6181) EDUC5631 Approaches to Research (ID 3078)
Contact hours
up to 30 hours
Main Textbook:
Creswell, JW &
JD (2017)
Research Design:
Quantitative, and
Mixed Methods
Approaches. Sage,
Fifth Edition
?Other Reading:


Booth, W., Colomb, Gregory G, & Williams, Joseph M. (2009). The Craft of Reserach

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.