Course Title: Apply research techniques within justice contexts

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: JUST5714

Course Title: Apply research techniques within justice contexts

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6124 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact: Irene Pagliarella, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4581

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Successful completion of, or demonstrated equivalence to, the following units of competency:

VU20861 Apply criminal law within justice environments
VU20862 Work with family violence contexts within justice environments
VU20863 Work with culturally diverse clients within justice environments
VU20864 Work with conflict resolution and mediation processes within justice environments
VU20865 Apply management and leadership within justice environments

And ONE of the following electives:

LGACOM406A Investigate alleged breaches of legislation and prepare documentation
CHCAOD402B Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to apply research methodologies appropriate to specific justice context/s.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20851 Apply research techniques within justice contexts


1. Determine requirements for research within justice contexts

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Purpose and limitations of research within justice contexts is analysed and debated
1.2 Models and theoretical perspectives on research methodologies are delineated and evaluated for suitability to justice contexts
1.3 Organisational policies and procedures for conducting research, collecting and maintaining data are identified
1.4 Opportunities for research are identified and hypotheses formulated
1.5 Research proposal is developed and scoped in consultation with relevant people


2. Conduct research

Methodology suitable to purpose is determined and resources attained

Literature is critically analysed

Instruments are developed, assessed for usability and validated in consultation with relevant people

Ethics and legal requirements are identified and addressed

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Methodology suitable to purpose is determined and resources attained
2.2 Literature is critically analysed
2.3 Instruments are developed, assessed for usability and validated in consultation with relevant people
2.4 Ethics and legal requirements are identified and addressed


3. Critically analyse and report findings


Research findings and results are reviewed against research proposal objectives


Research outcomes are critically analysed, recommendations and conclusions developed and documented


Research outcomes are documented and presented according to organisational and referencing requirements


Efficacy of research methodology is reviewed to inform future practice

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Research findings and results are reviewed against research proposal objectives
3.2 Research outcomes are critically analysed, recommendations and conclusions developed and documented
3.3 Research outcomes are documented and presented according to organisational and referencing requirements
3.4 Efficacy of research methodology is reviewed to inform future practice

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Conduct research including development of a research proposal, collecting and maintaining data, critically analysing and reporting findings
  • Review efficacy of research methodology
  • Provide evidence of knowledge of methodologies, ethical and legal requirements for research conducted within justice environments

Details of Learning Activities

You will participate in a variety of learning activities. They include the following:

In class activities:
• Role plays
• Interviews
• Observations
• Demonstrations
• Lectures
• Presentations
• Class discussions
• Group work
• Oral and written questioning

Out of class activities:
• Readings
• Case studies
• Role plays
• Observations
• Audio/visual presentations

Teaching Schedule

Week 1: Introduction to Apply Research Techniques within a justice context
Discussion of course and expected outcomes
Course Guides discussed and assessment tasks distributed and made available through Blackboard
Week 2: The purpose of social research in shaping knowledge and evidence based practice within
the justice context
Week 3: Ethics in research
Limitations of social research
Week 4: Quantitative orientation towards social research
Week 5: Qualitative orientation towards social research
Formative assessment 1 – Presentation of ethics application to simulated committee
Week 6: Research methodologies approaches and procedure, formulating the hypothesis
Week 7: Theoretical perspectives that inform social research in Justice including ethnomethodology
Week 8: Critical analysis of literature review
Week 9: Critical analysis of literature review continued
Week 10: Reliability and validity
Scope of research proposal and consultation with relevant stakeholders
Week 11: Formative assessment 2 – Literature review
Week 12 Policies for conducting social research and collecting and maintaining data
Week 13: Research instruments and data collection methods
Observing and collecting data, taking notes
Week 14: Formative assessment 3 – presentation of proposal
Week 15: Research samples/Conducting interviews
Week 16: Findings /Recommendations and outcomes that flow from research
Week 17: Field research, qualitative data collection and analysis
Week 18 Summative assessment due 

*The teaching schedule outlined above is subject to change depending on your assimilation of knowledge and skills of the subject matter, and on changes to legislation as well as unforeseen circumstances.

Attendance in this VET Justice Course is to help you develop a self-directed, professional attitude and to maximize your educational vocational opportunities and practical skills. Regular class attendance provides fundamental educational value and offers the most effective means for you to gain knowledge and skills of the concepts of the justice environment. Lack of regular attendance and participation may compromise your performance in the course and achieving the final outcome.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Wadsworth, Y. (2011) Do It Yourself Social Research, the Bestselling Practical Guide to Doing Social Research Projects. Allen & Unwin



Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including role plays, observations, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, reports, simulated scenarios, and audio-visual presentations.


Assessment Type

Word limit or equivalent

Assessment (Formative)

Range of in-class formative assessments linked to Summative Assessments


Assessment Two

Written Ethics Application

2500 words

Assessment Three

Literature Review

2500 words

Assessment Four

Observational Research Report

2500 words










If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca

Assessment Tasks

All assessment tasks are based on the requirements of the performance criteria, range statements and the assessment guidelines of the course and are as follows:
• Formative assessments 1, 2 and 3 are based on the performance criteria of the applicable elements. Formative assessment 1 will comprise an oral presentation of the research proposal to a simulated Ethics Committee for approval.
• Formative assessment 2 will comprise a written outline of the literature review to support the research project.
• Formative Assessment 3 will comprise of the presentation of the research proposal.
• Students will have the opportunity to receive feedback and make adjustments/improvements to the areas they are not competent in as a form of ongoing monitoring of their progress
• Summative assessment 1 (graded) will constitute 100% of the final grade. This assessment task comprises the completion and submission of an approved field research project

Comprehensive assessment outlines will be issued and discussed with students in class/and of made available through Blackboard in Week 1.

Assessment Matrix

The assessments have been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table which is as follows:

CHD=Competent with High Distinction
CDI=Competent with Distinction
CC=Competent with Credit
CAG=Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC=Not Yet Competent
DNS=Did not Submit for Assessment

Grades which apply to course delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not-graded)

CA=Competency Achieved
NYC=Not Yet Competent
DNS=Did Not Submit For Assessment

Other Information

All written work must adhere to the following criteria:
1. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
2. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and cogently address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical, ordered and organised manner
3. The concepts must be well defined and demonstrate a critical analysis of the chosen topic
4. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research
5. In-text references must follow the APA style of referencing. In addition, you must provide a bibliography with correct and comprehensive details in relation to texts, articles, research reports and other sources that you have used
6. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in either Arial or Times Roman. Do not submit double paged assessments.

In accordance with RMIT policy, you may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.
• Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.
• Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
• Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
You must keep a copy of their assessment until the graded submission has been returned or marks have been posted.

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT student email address.

Applying for an Extension
Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. An application for extension of time must be lodged with your tutor or the course coordinator as early as possible, and no later than one working day before the due date for submission.
You can apply for extension using the University’s Extension Application Form – – or by emailing your course coordinator or tutor directly.
An extension of up to seven calendar days may be granted if good reason can be demonstrated. Include supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) with your application.
Extensions beyond seven calendar days cannot be granted by course coordinators, tutors or the School. To apply for an extension of time greater than seven calendar days you must lodge an application for Special Consideration.

Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Penalties for Late Submission
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission will be penalised as follows:
Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each working day late.
No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date.

Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:
• You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,

• You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,

• You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

• Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.
If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:
The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.
Examples of plagiarism include:
• Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
• Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
• Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
• Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.
For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y

Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview