Social Research Methods - SOCI6020

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 5 30 (15) Trude Sundberg checkmark-circle


In this module students 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 students 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, students will spend most of their time applying what they have learned in a group research project and an individual research design project.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 44
Private study hours: 256
Total study hours: 300


Health & Social Care BA
Criminology BA
Social Policy & Social Change BA
Sociology BA
and Criminology, Social Policy & Social Change and Sociology joint honours courses

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework - Qualitative research quiz - 15%
Coursework - Qualitative research project - 35%
Coursework - Quantitative research quiz - 15%
Coursework - Quantitative research project - 35%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Abbott, A. (2003). Methods of Discovery: Heuristics for the Social Sciences. New York: W.W. Norton
Babbie, E. (20052011) The Basics of Social Research (5th edn)Intl Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Bryman, A. (2015) Social Research Methods, 5th edition, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Hesse-Biber, S.N. and Leavy, P. (2006) The Practice of Qualitative Research (2nd edn), London: Sage

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Judge and evaluate the validity of research evidence.
8.2 Identify a range of different research strategies and methods, and their respective advantages and disadvantages, as well as their philosophical underpinnings
8.3 Seek out and use statistical and other data derived from social surveys and other research publications
8.4 Read and interpret tables of statistical data
8.5 Initiate research questions and conduct preliminary empirical research using both quantitative and qualitative research techniques.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Gain skills in the written presentation of research ideas and findings
9.2 Analyse and utilise in argument basic empirical data drawn from research and official sources


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  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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