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Location Domestic International
Online

Unit Summary

Unit type

PG Project/Other Research Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

9

Level of learning

Advanced

Unit aim

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.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 Explain the political, ethical and organisational factors impacting on social work research. Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline
2 Demonstrate skills in using research evidence to inform social work practice. Knowledge of a discipline
3 Critically evaluate the usefulness of different methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative methodologies, for addressing different research questions. Intellectual rigour
4 Set up and critically reflect on a research proposal on a relevant social work topic. Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the political, ethical and organisational factors impacting on social work research.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. Demonstrate skills in using research evidence to inform social work practice.
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  3. Critically evaluate the usefulness of different methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative methodologies, for addressing different research questions.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
  4. Set up and critically reflect on a research proposal on a relevant social work topic.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline

Prescribed texts

  • 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.