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BU4054 - Research Methods and Statistics

Credit points: 3
Year: 2021
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: College of Business, Law & Governance

This subject prepares students for research using quantitative methods commonly used in health and social sciences. The subject starts with the research design process and then delves into quantitative methods used to isolate cause and effect in the presence of (potentially unobserved) confounding relationships. Confounding relationships are endemic to health and social science research. Experimental data collection is the preferred method, however it is often unfeasible or unethical. Alternatives include matching, difference-in-differences, instrumental variable and regression discontinuity analysis. Students will learn how these methods neutralize the effects of confounders, which of these methods to use under which circumstances and apply that knowledge analysing big (cross-sectional) data sets. Findings from this type of quantitative research are often crucial elements in decision-making processes in business (ex-ante cost benefit analysis), public policy (social return on investment analysis) and public health policy (cost effectiveness analyses).

Learning Outcomes

  • evaluate the array of quantitative methods available to deal with confounding relationships;
  • apply these methods to big (cross sectional) data sets;
  • summarize the relevance of the outcomes of above methods for public/private decision making.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (40%) - Individual
  • Oral > Presentation 1 - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Research report - (40%) - Individual.
Prerequisites: Admission to (BComm Hons)


Townsville, Study Period 3, Intensive
Census Date 04-Feb-2021
Face to face teaching 25-Jan-2021 to 04-Feb-2021 (9-11 am, 11-12 pm, 12-3pm, 3-5pm - Mon 25/01, Wed 27/01, Fri 29/01, Tues 02/02 and Thurs 04/02)
Coord/Lect: Dr Rabiul Beg.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 38 hours online collaboration sessions
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.