This unit introduces students to contemporary approaches to research methodologies across various disciplines. It provides students with the skills to apply these methodologies in the formulation of a research proposal. The unit outlines the methodological challenges, hermeneutical questions, and new directions for recent theological research, and the responses across various disciplines to those new developments. Students will be introduced to the skills, competencies and technical methods that are needed to conduct and present high-quality research, including identifying a research topic, citation and bibliographical protocols, and obtaining ethics clearances.

Unit code: RQ9021C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Research Thesis

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate a working knowledge of terms, assumptions and approaches to research that are current in selected theological disciplines


Critically evaluate key research methodologies and identify those that are most relevant to their own research topics


Demonstrate a familiarity with research methods and protocols.


Demonstrate an appreciation of the nature, purpose, ethical responsibilities and limitations of research.


Critically review scholarly literature relevant to their own research topics.


Develop skills in research design that clearly identify their research question, hypothesis and methodology.

Unit sequence

Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology, all Graduate Diplomas, all Masters awards, all Doctorates


Lectures and Tutorials – face-to-face Recorded lectures which students will listen to for methodological or discipline-specific content, online asynchronous tutorials through ARK forum, interacting with both the lecturer and the other students

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anderson, R. A. The Shape of Practical Theology: Empowering Ministry with Theological Praxis. Downers Grove: IVP, 2001.
  • Berry, Ralph. The Research Project: How to Write It, 5th Ed. New York: Routledge, 2004.
  • Booth, W., et al. The Craft of Research, 3rd ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2008. (recommended for purchase)
  • Corbin, J., and A. Strauss. Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2008.
  • Fink, A. Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to the Paper, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2010.
  • Locharoenrat, Kitsakorn. Research Methodologies for Beginners. Singapore: Pan Stanford, 2017.
  • Marshall, C., and G. B. Rossman. Designing Qualitative Research, 5th ed. Los Angeles: Sage, 2011.
  • Ricoeur, P. Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences: Essays on Language, Action and Interpretation. Edited translated by J. B. Thompson. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
  • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. Edited by Wayne C Booth, Gregory G Colomb, Joseph M Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T FitzGerald. 9th ed. Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018. (recommended for purchase)
  • Yaghjian, L. Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers. New York: Continuum, 2006.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)


6000 70.0
Critical Review

Critical Review

2000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Jul, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000