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CRI2221 Understanding the Social Sciences

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Understanding the Soc Scncs
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 099903 - Criminology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Suzanne Reich

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at:


Research endeavours in the social sciences and humanities take many forms. Characteristic of good research is good research design. By equipping students with the knowledge about the various elements of good research design – connection between theory and research, research questions, data collection and analysis methods – students are better able to understand and identify what constitutes robust and reliable research. Developing this knowledge base is beneficial for students whilst progressing through under-graduate studies and into future careers or further research, as it fosters the ability to critically appraise research merits, as well as the practical application of research in various contexts.


Every day we are presented with or exposed to research findings of some kind. It features in news media, political campaigns, marketing schemes, and scholarly articles, to name a few. Making sense of research and understanding how it contributes to the development of policy and practice is essential for any budding researcher, practitioner or student. This course adopts an interactive and practical approach to introduce students to different types of research, research methods, analysis, reporting, and ethical considerations. Students will also examine why this is central to assessing the value of research. This course has been designed to provide students with an interactive learning experience to consolidate the theoretical and conceptual principles being taught, through practical application in a criminological interest research project.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss the difference between research types and apply the appropriate type in research projects
  2. Explain the importance and centrality of theory in research and apply the appropriate theory in research
  3. Apply fundamental research concepts to a research project
  4. Work collaboratively with others in designing a research project
  5. Apply key elements of the research process and articulate why these are important in assessing research merits
  6. Identify and explain ethical considerations in research and ways to mitigate research risks


Description Weighting(%)
1. Course introduction to understanding the social sciences 10.00
2. Designing research 15.00
3. Conducting research 25.00
4. Analysis in research 20.00
5. Reporting research 20.00
6. Research illustrated 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Gilbert, N., & Stoneman, P 2016, Researching social life, 4th edn, Sage Publications Ltd, London.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 65.00
Directed Study 39.00
Private Study 61.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Online Quiz 1 20 20 14 Aug 2019
Online Quiz 2 20 20 13 Sep 2019
Research Review 20 20 17 Oct 2019
Research Team Project 40 40 26 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The (APA) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide.