Course Title: Apply Research Techniques within a Justice Framework

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: LAW5162

Course Title: Apply Research Techniques within a Justice Framework

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6077 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact : Irene Pagliarella

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99254581

Course Contact

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

There are no Pre- requisites for this course

Course Description

This unit supports the attainment of skills and knowledge required to conduct social research. In this unit it is applied in a justice environment but it may also be applied in any other social community environment.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBQU369 Apply Research Techniques within a Justice Framework


1. Analyse the role of social research in the community

Performance Criteria:

1.1  The contribution of social research to achieving social change is examined
1.2  The limitations of social research as a mechanism for social change are identified


2. Evaluate the processes of social research

Performance Criteria:

2.1  The necessary steps in conducting a project for social research are outlined
2.2  The purpose of each step in conducting a research project is identified
2.3  The application of social research as part of a strategy to achieve particular outcomes is reviewed


3. Review the different Methodologies and their application in social research

Performance Criteria:

3.1  The different research methods available for social research enquiry are analysed
3.2  Each research method is analysed to identify its limitations and advantages
3.3  The impact of methodological issues on the successful completion of a research project is evaluated


4. Design a social research project relevant to the community justice field and determine an appropriate Methodology to be used in its completion.


Performance Criteria:

4.1  A research proposal is designed
4.2  An appropriate research methodology is selected and applied
4.3  A suitable approach to collecting data is identified and selected
4.4  A research schedule is prepared
4.5  Ethical issues and their impact on the social research project are identified


5. Complete an applied social research project on a contemporary topic related to a community justice workplace.

Performance Criteria:

5.1  Data appropriate to the investigation of the research project are identified
5.2  Appropriate analysis and summary of data is conducted
5.3  Data in appropriate report format is collated and presented

Learning Outcomes

See elements

Details of Learning Activities

Students will participate in a variety of teaching methods including: lectures, tutorials, class discussion, seminar presentations, group/individual work on projects, audio-visual presentations, field excursions where applicable, on site visits, and interaction with individuals and groups within the criminal justice area.

Teaching Schedule

Week One: Introduction to Social Research

Week Two: Science and Research; Why conduct Social Research

Week Three: Quantitative Social Research

Week Four: Qualitative Social Research

Week Five: Introduction to Social Theory

Week Six: Politics in Social Research

Week Seven: Ethics in Social Research

Week Eight: Mid Semester Break

Week Nine: Literature Review/Triangulation

Week Ten: Research Proposal due

Week Eleven: Feedback and briefing. Quantitative Research Design/ Qualitative research design

Week Twelve: Sampling techniques

Week Thirteen: Quantitative and Qualitative measurements analysis of data

Week Fourteen: Reliability and Validity

Week Fifteen: Constructing the questionnaire

Week Sixteen: Conducting interviews

Week Seventeen: Designated time to finalise project (no formal class)

Week Eighteen: Workshop activity to assist the completion of the research

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

The following is recommended:   ‘Do It Yourself Social Research’ YOLAND WADSWORTH

Overview of Assessment

This unit supports the attainment of skills and knowledge required to conduct social research. In this unit it is applied in a justice environment but it may also be applied in any other social community environment. Asessable criteria for this course will include:

  • Hurdle Tasks to demonstrate understanding of underpinning knowledge and appropriate application
  • Active participation in weekly Case Studies
  • Appropriate research to identify a contempoary topic for research
  • Completion of all legal and ethical requirements to conduct social research in the community
  • Submission of a social research project

Assessment Tasks

Journal entries (15%)
Literature review (30%)
Research proposal (55%)

Students will be provided a detailed handout of each of the above assessments that includes the assessment outline, the assessment criteria and the due date by the second week of the semester.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment has been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table 7 which is as follows:
HD 80-100, DI 70-79, CR 60-69, PA 50-59, NN 0-49

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

Other Information

Assessment Deadlines
Any due date for any assignment is to be considered a deadline. Students can submit work at any time prior to the submission date, but it must be into the Administration office by close of business of the day the submission is due.
Extensions will not be granted by teachers or Administrative staff.
In accordance with RMIT policy, students may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.
a) 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.
b) Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
c) Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.

Students requiring extensions for 7 calendar days or less (from the original due date) must complete and lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Program Coordinator/ Program Manager. The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. The student will be notified within no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted.

Students seeking an extension of more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2 working days after the official due date.

Assignments submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or graded.

Students must keep a copy of their paper until the graded essay has been returned or marks have been posted.
Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing as though it is one’s own. Plagiarism is not acceptable. 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.

You must acknowledge the use of another person’s work or ideas. If texts or ideas are reproduced they are to be clearly acknowledged in one of the conventional ways, such as by use of quotation marks, indentation for longer passages and clear citation of the source. Failure to separate one’s own contribution from that of another constitutes plagiarism – a form of cheating and may result in outright failure. Random checks will be made on students’ work.

Other Information: All email communications will be sent to your RMIT email address.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview