In 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.
Total contact hours: 44
Private study hours: 256
Total study hours: 300
Method of assessment
Main assessment methods
Coursework - Qualitative research proposal: 20%
Coursework - Qualitative research project: 25%
Coursework - Quantitative research proposal: 20%
Coursework - Dissertation proposal: 25%
Coursework - Seminar participation: 10%
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
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
The intended subject specific learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Judge and evaluate the validity of research evidence.
2.Identify a range of different research strategies and methods, and their respective advantages and disadvantages, as well as their philosophical underpinnings
3.Seek out and use statistical and other data derived from social surveys and other research publications
4.Read and interpret tables of statistical data
5.Initiate research questions and conduct preliminary empirical research using both quantitative and qualitative research techniques.
The intended generic learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Gain skills in presentation and debate, both verbal and written
2.Analyse and utilise in argument basic empirical data drawn from research and official sources
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Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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