This module is a pre-requisite if you wish to take a dissertation in stage 3 (SO679)
OverviewIn this module you will begin to understand the process and debates surrounding how researchers learn more about the social world. What techniques and approaches do social researchers draw upon to organise, structure and interpret research evidence? How do we judge the quality of research? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the range of frameworks and methodologies? The first part of the module introduces you to the conceptual issues and debates around the ‘best’ way to explore social questions, forms and issues, and an overview of some popular methods for doing so. In the Spring Term, you will spend most of your time applying what you have learned in a group research project and an individual research design project.
This module appears in:
11 weekly lectures and seminars (Autumn Term); 11 lectures and 11 weekly seminars (Spring Term), each of 50 minutes.
Method of assessment
Literature review of 2000 words (25%), Group presentation (25%), Individual Research Proposal (25%), Exam (20%), Seminar Attendance (5%)
Gilbert, N. (ed.) (2008) Researching Social Life. London: Sage.
Bryman A (2nd edn. 2004) Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Walliman N (2007) Your Research Project. London: Sage
Identify a range of different research strategies and methods, and their respective advantages and disadvantages, as well as their philosophical underpinnings.
Seek out and use statistical and other data derived from social surveys and other research publications.
Read and interpret tables of statistical data.
Judge and evaluate the validity of research evidence.
Develop research questions and conduct preliminary empirical research.