Conservation Social Science: Methods and Research Design - DI537

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) DR RD Fish




Stage 2



The module will begin with an introduction to research. Students will be asked to think about what counts as research, how research validity can be assessed, and. Subsequent sessions will give training in the design and use of (a) qualitative interviews and (b) (quantitative) questionnaires. Sessions will also be devoted to processing and analysis of qualitative data, and also basic descriptive statistics to analyse quantitative data, but not inferential statistics, since this is covered in a separate core module on statistics in the BSc programme (DI508). Towards the end of the module we will look in more depth at the principles of research design in order to help students begin to plan their final year research projects


This module appears in:

Contact hours



Core for BSc Wildlife Conservation and for BA Environmental Studies

Method of assessment

Exam 40%; Coursework 60%
Written Report 60%

Indicative reading

Bryman A., 2012. Social research methods, (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Corbin, Juliet M., Strauss, Anselm L. & Strauss, Anselm L., 2008. Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory, (London: Sage Publications, Inc.)

Gerring, J. (2007) Case Study Research: Principles and Practices, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)

Lapan. S. et al. (Eds) (2012) Qualitative research: an introduction to methods and design (London: Wiley & Sons)

Newing, Helen, 2010. Conducting research in conservation: social science methods and practice, (London: Routledge)

Denzin, N Lincoln Y (2000) Handbook of qualitative research (London: Sage)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

8.1 have a sound understanding of different basic approaches to research design, including different research strategies (induction / deduction) and different research design structures (experimental, observational and so on)
8.2 understand the broad differences between quantitative and qualitative approaches to research and the relative merits of each.
8.3 gain skills in the design and use of qualitative interviews and questionnaires
8.4 gain skills in simple analysis and presentation of both qualitative and quantitative data

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