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Research Methodologies for the Creative Arts & Humanities: Home

Welcome to Research Methodologies Subject Guide

Welcome to our exploratory Guide to research methodology resources. It is aimed at post-graduate researchers in the creative arts and humanities and highlights current ECU Library online full text resources. The methodologies used in the sciences, the social sciences and education are not emphasised here, since they are already well covered elsewhere. They might, though, be applicable for some aspects of your research.

Gray and Malins (1993) have observed:
"There is no one universally accepted methodological approach to research within the arts. Methodologies associated with creative practice as research may move beyond traditional approaches to research, inclusive of the ongoing reflexive nature associated with the discipline/s. Through the methodologies and because of multiple shifts of interpretive paradigms in the creative arts, there could be a difference, creating tensionings, between the creative and reflective outcomes within the practice. Practice as research is identified as a 'generating' instrument. Research methods and processes are tailored to respond to practice and practice to research, continually re-orienting it to refine the research question through reflexive processes." (see Research procedures/methodologies for artists and designers )


It is important to think about your research methodology at an early stage as it has a considerable impact on the direction of research and approach you might take. Read widely: often a key work by another may serve as a departure point and bring with it a research method for modelling, re-modelling or major adaptive change. Ultimately your research methodology will be formed to suit the project you are undertaking and so this guide provides starting points for further investigation.

Discussion with your supervisor is the best way to decide on your research methodology. However, additional support is available from the subject librarians and the research consultants.

Research Consultants

ECU Research Consultants assist higher degree by research (HDR) students develop the skills needed to effectively plan and carry out research.  They assist with overall research design; data management and analysis; interpretation, reporting and presentation of findings; and conceptual issues in producing a thesis or exegesis. Workshops on topics methodology, statistics and data analysis, NVivo, R and SPSS are advertised through both the Centre for Learning and Teaching and the Graduate Research School. Select the hyperlink to to find more information on how Research Consultants and Support staff can assist you in your research journey.

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