Singapore University of Social Sciences

Research Design and Methods

Research Design and Methods (SOC321)


SOC321 Research Design and Methods is an intermediate undergraduate sociological research course. It is designed to teach students the skills necessary to design and implement a research project and to assess the soundness of research. It does not assume any prior knowledge of statistical methods. The course incorporates both reading materials, case studies, and hands-on practice in research design. After introducing students to the elements of research design, the course will ask students to put into practice methodological thinking by starting their own sociological research project and trying out data collection methods on a small scale.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Introduction and overview
  • Choosing a topic/question
  • Linking data and theory
  • Choice of sociological methods (1)
  • Choice of sociological methods (2)
  • Sampling
  • Survey design
  • Data analysis: data preparation
  • Data analysis: creating effective visualisation; statistical analysis
  • Writing and presenting sociological research
  • Evaluation of evidence (1)
  • Evaluation of evidence (2)

Learning Outcome

  • Apply sociological concepts and theories to the systematic, scientific study of human behaviour
  • Show an understanding of the processes for conducting sociological research
  • Develop an appreciation for the ethical issues inherent in conducting sociological research
  • Design a robust plan for a research project
  • Assess the soundness of social scientific research by evaluating research designs and data-collection strategies in light of research questions and theory
  • Demonstrate skills in analytical thinking and oral and written communication
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