Research Methods for Social Science - DICE8760

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Mohammad Farhadinia checkmark-circle


The module will begin with a broad overview of social science approaches to research, highlighting contrasts with standard natural science techniques and focusing on the qualitative-quantitative divide. Subsequent sessions will introduce individual methods such as qualitative interviewing, questionnaire surveys and focus groups. Sessions will also be devoted to processing and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. Towards the end of the module, we will examine the principles of integrated research design and mixed-methods approaches.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 33
Private study hours: 117
Total study hours: 150


This module is compulsory to the following courses:

• MSc Conservation Biology
• MSc Conservation and International Wildlife Trade
• MSc Conservation and Project Management
• MSc Conservation and Rural Development

Method of assessment

Two empirical reports (50% each), both with a maximum word length of 2,000 words

Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate critical awareness of different research paradigms, including different strategies and designs for quantitative and qualitative approaches, including a systematic understanding of the relative merits of each;
2 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of basic methodological issues in social science, including response biases, triangulation and sampling, and mixed-methods approaches;
3 Demonstrate a practical understanding of a range of specific methods such as qualitative interviewing, focus groups and questionnaires;
4 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the principles of analysis and presentation of qualitative data (through textual narrative, the use of quotations, coding and contingency tables) and quantitative data (through descriptive statistics); and
5 Present analysed data within the framework of a scientific /report.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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