Students

SSCI3090 – Professional Social Research Project

2021 – Session 1, Special circumstances, North Ryde

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Jacqueline Mackaway
Credit points Credit points
20
Prerequisites Prerequisites
(130cp at 1000 level or above) including (SSCI2010 and SSCI2020) OR (SOC224 and SSC200 or SSCI200).
Corequisites Corequisites
SSCI3010 or SSCI300
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit provides you with practical ‘hands on’ experience working on a social research project for government, university, industry or a community based organisation. Projects involve a variety of research activities including policy reviews, program design, evaluations, community advocacy and more. The unit is made up of two parts. The first part involves you undertaking a supervised research placement with an organisation (150 hours). Projects are generally sourced for you, however you may organise your own with the unit convenor’s approval at least two months before the commencement of semester. The second part involves six workshops designed to develop skills and capacities you will need to manage and conduct research in an ethical and professional manner. From these two parts of the unit, and by reflecting on your project and personal experience, you will gain an understanding of the work of social researchers and the contribution they make to organisations and society more broadly. You will also gain insights into the skills and knowledge you need to further develop, possible career options and set goals for the future.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate and apply qualitative and/or quantitative research skills and knowledge to an applied social research project for an organisation.
  • ULO2: Design and implement a project plan to successfully undertake and manage tasks, data, risks, time and resources.
  • ULO3: Integrate critical thinking and reflective practices into their project, and develop self-management strategies to address challenges and enhance personal, academic and career learning.
  • ULO4: Critically analyse and report on research methods and processes, project outputs and outcomes, effectively using a range of professional and academic written and oral formats.
  • ULO5: Create and produce a high quality evidence informed artefact such as a report, research instrument, discussion paper or resource for an organisation that supports the organisation’s purpose and strategic goals.

General Assessment Information

The Project Management Plan, Short Written Task and Final Report must all be submitted electronically via iLearn and the Turnitin function.

Please note that Project Management Plan (PMP) is due once you have completed a minimum of 20 hours working on your project. The submission date will therefore vary between students.

Contact the Unit Convenor if you find yourself unable to meet the submission dates for assessments and/or the minimum placement hours can not be met.

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, a penalty for lateness will apply.

University Grading Policy

The grade that a student receives will signify their overall performance in meeting the learning outcomes of the unit of study. Graded units will use the following grades

HD    High Distinction        85-100

D      Distinction                 75-84

Cr     Credit                        65-74

P      Pass                          50-64

F      Fail                              0-49

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University.

Return of Marked Work

As per university policy, written assessments will be returned to students within three weeks of the submission date. Early assignments will not be marked early.*Note that Project Management Plans are marked as quickly as possible to allow students to continue with their work.

Special Consideration (Extensions)

The University recognises that students may experience events or conditions that adversely affect their academic performance. If you experience serious and unavoidable difficulties at exam time or when assessment tasks are due, you can consider applying for Special Consideration.

You need to show that the circumstances:

  1. were serious, unexpected and unavoidable
  2. were beyond your control
  3. caused substantial disruption to your academic work
  4. substantially interfered with your otherwise satisfactory fulfilment of the unit requirements
  5. lasted at least three consecutive days or a total of 5 days within the teaching period and prevented completion of an assessment task scheduled for a specific date.

More information about Special Consideration is available in the Policies and Procedures section of the unit guide.

Late Penalties

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Project Management Plan (PMP) 20% No First 20 hours of project
Short Written Task 10% No 26/03/2021
Media Presentation 25% No 25/05/2021
Final Project Report 25% No 12/06/2021
Workplace supervisor's report 20% No Week 13

Project Management Plan (PMP)

Assessment Type 1: Plan
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: First 20 hours of project
Weighting: 20%

 

Students develop their project management planning skills by creating a plan for their research project/activity. The plan must include: project description and rationale; outline of study design, objectives, outcomes and key stakeholders; specify key tasks and timeline; resources required; risks/issues and mitigation strategies; strategies for monitoring and evaluating the project and the quality of their work. The workplace supervisor must check this task prior to submission.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate and apply qualitative and/or quantitative research skills and knowledge to an applied social research project for an organisation.
  • Design and implement a project plan to successfully undertake and manage tasks, data, risks, time and resources.

Short Written Task

Assessment Type 1: Reflective Writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: 26/03/2021
Weighting: 10%

 

This task requires students to use critical and ethical thinking along with reflective skills to respond a question focused on either: a) the application of a specific principle of research ethics to their own project (using the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines) OR b) to critically analyse and report on their own positionality in relation to their research project.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate and apply qualitative and/or quantitative research skills and knowledge to an applied social research project for an organisation.
  • Integrate critical thinking and reflective practices into their project, and develop self-management strategies to address challenges and enhance personal, academic and career learning.
  • Critically analyse and report on research methods and processes, project outputs and outcomes, effectively using a range of professional and academic written and oral formats.

Media Presentation

Assessment Type 1: Presentation
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: 25/05/2021
Weighting: 25%

 

This task is designed for students to synthesise their academic and professional knowledge and present in the form of a media presentation. Presenters need to: 1) use a presentation tool such as Powerpoint or Prezi to create an engaging presentation for their peers 2) create a script to accompany the presentation 3) provide an overview of their organisation and project, discuss key research tasks and outputs including examples and evidence of their work 4) manage their media presentation in a logical, organised way within the time limits set.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate and apply qualitative and/or quantitative research skills and knowledge to an applied social research project for an organisation.
  • Critically analyse and report on research methods and processes, project outputs and outcomes, effectively using a range of professional and academic written and oral formats.
  • Create and produce a high quality evidence informed artefact such as a report, research instrument, discussion paper or resource for an organisation that supports the organisation’s purpose and strategic goals.

Final Project Report

Assessment Type 1: Report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: 12/06/2021
Weighting: 25%

 

The final project report requires students to critically analyse and reflect on their research project and experiences. The report must include: a critique of the study design and research methods/approaches used; research related challenges faced and how these were overcome; ethical and/cultural considerations and how addressed; examples/samples of work completed; a critical reflection on their personal, academic and career learning along with a consideration of the value of their disciplinary knowledge (social research) and/or their major to their project and/or society more broadly.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate and apply qualitative and/or quantitative research skills and knowledge to an applied social research project for an organisation.
  • Integrate critical thinking and reflective practices into their project, and develop self-management strategies to address challenges and enhance personal, academic and career learning.
  • Critically analyse and report on research methods and processes, project outputs and outcomes, effectively using a range of professional and academic written and oral formats.

Workplace supervisor's report

Assessment Type 1: Work-integrated task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 0 hours
Due: Week 13
Weighting: 20%

 

The workplace supervisor will undertake an assessment of the student’s work and performance at the end of the project.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Design and implement a project plan to successfully undertake and manage tasks, data, risks, time and resources.
  • Integrate critical thinking and reflective practices into their project, and develop self-management strategies to address challenges and enhance personal, academic and career learning.
  • Create and produce a high quality evidence informed artefact such as a report, research instrument, discussion paper or resource for an organisation that supports the organisation’s purpose and strategic goals.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

The unit has an academic component (delivered through 6 seminars/workshops) and a practical component (students' research work for the organisation).

For the academic component students will be required to:

  • submit the required assessment tasks on time
  • complete required readings
  • attend all seminars/workshops (if unable to attend the unit convenor must be contacted and and alternative activity will be assigned for completion)

For the practical component of the unit students will be required to:

  • complete a minimum 150 placement hours with a partner organisation
  • define a work schedule with their workplace supervisor and commit to it
  • work on a research project according to the research plan they discuss with their workplace supervisor/s
  • submit a final output of the research project to their organisation.

Unit Schedule

There are two available options for the seminars: Tuesday 11-1pm (4 Western Rd - tutorial room 232) OR Tuesday 2-4pm. The Tuesday morning seminar is scheduled as a face-to-face session on campus, while the 2-4pm seminar is designed as a combination of on-line and zoom for those students who can not come to campus. Once you have enrolled into a particular seminar group you need to stay in your assigned group unless you are unable to come to campus due to CV-19. 

The dates and topics are listed below.

Seminar 1

Tues 23 Feb

Introduction to experiential learning and your social research project

Seminar 2

Tues 2 March

Managing a research project

Seminar 3

Tues 9 March

Reflective & reflexive practice

Seminar 4

Tues 16 March

Research ethics

Seminar 5

Tues 25 May

Communicating research

Seminar 6

Tues 1 June

Pursuing a career in social research

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

Student Enquiries

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.