Singapore University of Social Sciences

Advanced Social Research Methods and Design

Advanced Social Research Methods and Design (RSS501)


Having a thorough grounding in social science research methodologies and strong research skills is a cornerstone of graduate programmes in the social sciences. This course introduces students to a range of research methods and designs commonly used in the social sciences. All stages of the research process will be covered, providing students with the opportunities to evaluate ethical, measurement, reliability, and validity issues in research practice. The course will enhance the research knowledge and techniques of students and equip them with advanced quantitative and qualitative research skills. Students will acquire the practical skills needed to structure, design and conduct their own research studies independently.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • Foundations of Social Scientific Thinking
  • Understanding theory and research
  • Methodological Approaches
  • Problem definition, literature review, and hypotheses
  • Measurement, validity, and reliability
  • Quantitative research design
  • Experimental and Quasi-experimental designs
  • Survey research design and instrument construction
  • Qualitative research design
  • Field Research and other qualitative designs
  • Ethical issues in social science research
  • Evaluation of published articles and report writing

Learning Outcome

  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of quantitative versus qualitative methodologies
  • Assess the validity of various measurement techniques and suitability of various research designs and methods
  • Evaluate how research issues such as ethics, measurement, validity, and reliability, can influence research designs and implementation, and the interpretation of research findings
  • Formulate research questions and hypotheses
  • Select appropriate research methods for different research needs and questions
  • Construct research instruments such as scales, survey questionnaire and interview guide
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