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AZA3453: Research fundamentals

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal datesfor the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Rose-Marie Bezuidenhout


South Africa

  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


AZA2453, ATS2453, ATS3453


The unit introduces critical and practical approaches to research in the media and communication industries. It presents a critical overview of the rationale for research in industry and academia. Various traditions of inquiry are explored and applied to typical research studies conducted in communication and the media with specific reference to South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Specific quantitative, and qualitative research methodologies are investigated. Various key ethical and critical research issues are deliberated.


On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the uses of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in academic and industry contexts.
  2. Understand the uses of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in science and non-science environments
  3. Understand the nature and use of a theoretical framework in a research project
  4. Define and formulate a research project, including hypotheses, research problems and questions, goals, ethical considerations, literature reviews, theoretical frameworks, and data collection, analysis and interpretation methods.
  5. Demonstrate sound awareness of ethical principles in research practices.
  6. Demonstrate familiarity with specific methodologies, including, for example, ethnography, case study, survey, textual-, thematic-, discourse- audience- and quantitative content analysis
  7. Reflect on relationships between local and global frameworks in developing approaches to research.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Rose-Marie Bezuidenhout

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Communication and media studies – South Africa
Criminology and criminal justice – South Africa
Journalism studies – South Africa
Public relations practice – South Africa

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