This article examines the ways in which academics who teach undergraduate research methodology courses conceptualise research and scholarship and the role these aspects play in the way they construct their courses. In-depth interviews were conducted with nine academics who have been intimately involved in constructing social science research courses at South African universities. Carspecken's (1996) critical hermeneutic method was adapted and applied to the interview material. Four beliefs held by participants on how and why their course curricula came into being are presented. The first and second beliefs relate to the position of some of the participant academics as expert researchers and also expert teachers of research. The third belief is that the construction of curricula is affected by what has traditionally been taught to students about research, but also by severe criticisms of historical content. Political repositioning in South Africa is the fourth belief held by participants about what has shaped research courses. Academics in psychology need to take cognisance of the fact that methodological debates in the social sciences and current thinking about knowledge and learning are pointing to new directions in how we should train students to study the human realm. If we want to remain relevant to the social world in which we live, we need to discuss these directions and forge a new way of acting in this world.