Social Science (SOSC) 366Back to courses | Print page
Research Methods in the Social Sciences (Revision 5)
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Area of Study: Social Science
Prerequisite: A junior social science course is recommended but not required.
Precluded Course: PSYC 304. SOSC 366 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for PSYC 304.
TELUQ equivalency: SOC 1013.
Télé-université du Québec equivalency
SOSC 366 is not available for challenge.
Welcome to Social Science 366: Research Methods in the Social Sciences. This course is designed for students who wish to gain an understanding of the limits and potentials of social science research, and for those who intend to research social phenomena scientifically.
Social Science 366 is intended to facilitate your awareness of the research process and your ability to conduct research in an ethical and thorough manner using appropriate research strategies. This course has technical and critical components. This means understanding the course requires a good grasp of many technical concepts and processes and applying these concepts to the study of social phenomena.
Social Science 366: Research Methods in the Social Sciences has been designed to help you achieve the following course objectives:
- Understand the ethical responsibilities of a social researcher toward research participants.
- Explain the principles and objectives of social science research.
- Describe the use of common research methods in the social sciences.
- Define a research problem.
- Write a research proposal.
- Conduct an independent research project involving the collection of empirical data.
- Analyze and report findings from a research project.
- Better understand research reported in the media and critically analyze research studies.
Social Science 366: Research Methods in the Social Sciences comprises 16 units:
Unit 1: Doing Social Research: An Introduction to Inquiry
Unit 2: Theory and Research
Unit 3: The Ethics and Politics of Social Research
Unit 4: The Logic of Causation
Unit 5: Obstacles to Scientific Inquiry
Unit 6: Research Design
Unit 7: Conceptualization, Operationalization, and Measurement
Unit 8: Indexes, Scales, and Typologies
Unit 9: The Logic of Sampling
Unit 10: Survey Research
Unit 11: Experiments
Unit 12: Unobtrusive Research
Unit 13: Qualitative Field Research
Unit 14: Evaluation Research
Unit 15: Mixed Methods
Unit 16: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis
Students must achieve an overall passing grade of 60% in the course. In addition, students must obtain a passing grade of 60% on all written assignments. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Most of the course materials for SOSC 366 are available online through the myAU portal. There are also four textbooks and a printed Reading File, and these will be sent to you before your course start date.
Babbie, E., & Benaquisto, L. (2010). Fundamentals of social research (2nd Canadian ed.) Toronto, ON: Nelson Education.
Neuman, W. L., & Robson, K. (2012). Basics of social research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (2nd Canadian ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson.
Simon, J. L. (2009). The art of empirical investigation. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Tensen, B. L. & Hampson, K. (2010). Mastering digital research: A guide for students. Toronto, ON: Nelson Education.
Kastner, J. (Producer & Director). (1998). Ask a silly question [Streaming Video]. Toronto: CBC Enterprises.
Note: All courses are subject to approval and availability
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NOTE: Students registering in grouped study mode are advised that there may be some differences in the evaluation and course materials information indicated above.
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 5,November 7, 2012.
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Updated September 23 2013