This module aims to enable students to design and conduct their own piece of research. This can be primary research where students collect and analyse their own data, or it can be library based, where students research existing literature or re-analyse data collected by others. The research can be about a particular policy or policy area, social problem, social development, or matter of sociological interest. The dissertation will usually be set out as a series of chapters. In order to assist students with designing and writing a dissertation a supervisor – a member of staff in SSPSSR - will have an initial meeting with students (during the summer term of Year 2 where possible) and then during the Autumn and Spring terms students will have at least six formal dissertation sessions with their supervisor. These may be held individually or with other students. In addition there will be two lectures by the module convenor which will also support students' progress, workshops on bibliography development (Autumn term) and data analysis (Spring term).
Total contact hours: 16
Private study hours: 334 total (10 per week)
Total study hours: 350
Method of assessment
Main assessment methods
Coursework – interim submission (2,500 words) - 25%
Coursework - dissertation (12,500 words) - 75%
Aveyard, H. (2014) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide, 3rd edition, Open University Press
Aveyard, Sharp and Wooliams (2011) A beginner's guide to critical thinking and writing, Open University Press
Bell, J. (2005) Doing your Research project, Buckingham, Open University Press.
Cottrell, S. (2003) The Study Skills Handbook, Basingstoke, Palgrave
Crème, P. & Lee, M. (2003) Writing at University, Maidenhead, Open University Press.
Denscombe, M. (2010) The Good Research Guide 4th edition, Open University Press
Denscombe, M. (2012) Research Proposals: A Practical Guide, Open University Press
Girden, E. (2001) Evaluating research articles from start to finish, London, Sage.
Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review, London, Sage.
May, T. (1997) Social Research, Issues, Methods and Process, Buckingham, Open University Press.
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.Identify a social research question.
2.Identify appropriate means of investigating selected research questions.
3.Test research question in terms of findings.
4.Demonstrate skill in understanding and putting into practice links between theory and research.
5.Demonstrate skill in systematically writing up the selection and investigation of, findings, and implications of a specified research question.
The intended generic learning outcomes are as follows. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1.Demonstrate bibliographic and computer search skills.
2.Demonstrate skill in critical thinking, analysis and synthesis, including ability to evaluate statements in relation to evidence, line of reasoning and implicit values.
3.Distinguish between technical, normative, moral and political questions.
4.Critically assess scholarly theory and data and their implications.
Ability to identify a social research question
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Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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