Research Methods in Autism/Positive Behaviour Support - TZ602

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR M Barnoux




Only available for year 3 UG Tizard students



The module will ensure students are 'research aware' by teaching them about quantitative and qualitative research. It explores the purposes of research and methods, as well as the ethical, political and pragmatic issues research focused on autism & intellectual and developmental disabilities has experienced and continues to seek to address. It will teach students how to effectively carry out literature reviews, observations and participant research. The importance of critical analysis, reliability and validity is explored in depth. The module emphasises the knowledge needed to access and interpret research literature and data in the field.


Contact hours

This module will be taught through blended learning via materials on Moodle.Blended learning features online forum and chat discussions, case-study work, group exercises, videos, guided reading of text based materials and study questions.

Method of assessment

The assessment methods for this module comprise two equally weighted 1,500 word assignments (30% each), a one hour exam (30%), and a short 15 minute presentation (10%).

Indicative reading

Blaikie, N. (2000). Designing Social Research. Cambridge: Polity.
Johnston, T.C. (2014). Data Without Tears: how to write measurable educational goals and collect meaningful data. Champaign, IL: Research Press Publishers.
May, T. (2011). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill/Open University Press.
Robson, C. (2011). Real World Research. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Soyini Madison, D. (2012). Critical Ethnography: method, ethics and performance. London: Sage.
Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research: grounded theory procedures and techniques. London: Sage.

Learning outcomes

• Critically discuss different research methodologies applied to the study of autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Compare the suitability of different research methodologies for evaluating complex issues relating to autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of the ethical issues arising from researching autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Demonstrate the ability to access and interpret existing research and data used in the study of autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities
• Demonstrate the capacity to critically analyse both published work and personal experience
• Demonstrate the ability to communicate complex concepts in writing, in a form that can be understood by both specialist and non-specialist audiences
• Demonstrate effective use of information technology (word processing, email, internet, online learning resources) to solve research problems and achieve set outcomes
• Demonstrate effective time management skills both in terms of prioritising time to answer questions, and with regard to meeting set deadlines
• Recognise issues relating to equality and diversity by using non-discriminatory language in written work and online contributions

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.