SOWK617-17S1 (D) Semester One 2017 (Distance)

Qualitative Research and Programme Evaluation Strategies

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2017
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2017
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 3 March 2017
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 19 May 2017


This course introduces students to a range of qualitative research methods emphasising both conceptual appreciation and technical competence. Students are encouraged to think critically in terms of applicability for developing ethical evaluation models within diverse contexts/settings.

Qualitative research is a form of inquiry that seeks to understand how individuals make sense of their experiences and their ‘worlds’.  This requires an interpretive, flexible and fluid approach because the focus is on meaning and interpretation. Qualitative enquiry can allow the researcher to be able to hear the voices and view the worlds of those who are silenced, ‘othered’ and marginalised.  This approach to research has been adopted extensively in the social sciences and increasingly within human services. There is a growing interest within the human services in terms of the role that qualitative research strategies can play in practice and policy development.  Largely in response to demands by funding agencies for accountability, human services have begun to examine more closely their performance, efficacy, and cost effectiveness drawing on qualitative research strategies.  

This course will begin by introducing students to the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research, including methodological frameworks, theories, and controversies. Next, students will learn about practical issues encountered in community research and when undertaking programme or service evaluation. Those practical issues include ethics of the research process; navigating cultures and insider/outsider perspectives; data gathering via documents, interviews, and focus groups; and analysing data. Students are encouraged to think critically in terms of applicability for developing ethical community and evaluation research models within diverse contexts/settings.

•  To introduce students to a range of qualitative methodological frameworks and
   research methods
•  To introduce students to the art and practice of programme evaluation and
   community research.
•  To critically engage with current research trends and their application in human service settings
•  To promote an action-based process of learning whereby students can directly experience
   qualitative research practice, and the process of planning and developing a research proposal
   for community and evaluation research.

Learning Outcomes

  • During the course you will
  •  Feel confident to embark on a research project for the first time
  •  Be able to examine a range of research strategies and methods, evaluate and assess
       the appropriateness and applicability for developing ethical research models within
       diverse contexts/settings.
  •  Demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of key ethical principles for social research
  •  Ability to competently produce a research proposal and ethics application



Equivalent Courses


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Literature Review 03 Apr 2017 30%
Ethics Application 01 May 2017 20%
Class Participation 19 May 2017 10%
Research Proposal 02 Jun 2017 40%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Liamputtong, Pranee; Qualitative Research Methods; 4th edition; Oxford University Press, 2013.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $888.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All SOWK617 Occurrences

  • SOWK617-17S1 (D) Semester One 2017 (Distance)