Principles and Debates in Social Research
This unit introduces students to key principles and debates in relation to the design and practice of research, including a consideration of the key philosophical positions in Western thought that have informed existing research traditions. The unit covers three broad areas of content that underpin the pursuit of research: a range of philosophical and theoretical frameworks within which research is conducted; a variety of strategies and approaches to designing, conducting, evaluating and analysing research; and critical reflections on the position of the researcher in the research process.
Introduction to Qualitative Research
This unit introduces students to a variety of qualitative research approaches for the investigation of human and more-than-human worlds, developing an appreciation of how qualitative methods are used to create knowledge. It aims to familiarise students with a full range of qualitative research methods and analyses in common use in social science. Current theoretical, methodological and ethical concerns will be debated. Students will learn how to use and evaluate the tools, techniques and processes of qualitative research, as well as applying them to their own research projects. This unit provides the basis for more subject-specific and advanced training in this field.
Introduction to Quantitative Research
This unit will provide students with an appreciation, and experience of, the theoretical underpinnings and practical application of the range of common quantitative tools and techniques that can be used as part of the research process. Students will gain an overview of the foundational concepts and practice of quantitative research.
Professional Skills for Researchers
The Unit will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their current level of skills development and will give them the opportunity to cover a range of sessions provided through attendance on workshops or online via the Research Student Skills Development Programme within the Graduate School, from provision offered by Faculties or events attended externally.
Disciplinarities: Re-searching Beyond Boundaries
This unit will explore how more expansive understandings of issues in social science research are developed through cross-, inter- and transdisciplinary working. As the demands on research to take account of ever more complex issues increase, students will examine ways it is able to respond more fully to the challenges faced in an increasingly mixed-up, boundary-blurring, heterogenous, interdependent and ethically confronting more-than-human world.
Likely Optional Units
Contemporary Issues in Education, Childhood and Youth
This unit will examine research approaches to issues and associated social policy and legislation (in education, health or social care settings) that affect the experiences, as well as public and other perceptions, of babies, children and youth in the UK.
Social Policy and Social Work: research, policy and practice
This unit will provide students with experience in how research is translated and used in the areas of social policy and social work. It will enable them to understand the relationship between theory and practice through the analysis of contemporary case studies. Weekly workshops will provide students with materials to inform the development of research agendas that can generate impact.
Further Qualitative Methods
This unit aims to provide students with the skills needed to engage critically with contemporary theoretical trends in qualitative research in the social sciences, and to relate these to research and practice. The unit extends students knowledge and skills in qualitative research for investigating human and more-than-human worlds, developing an appreciation of how qualitative methods are used to create knowledge.
Further Quantative Methods
This unit will provide students with an introduction to further quantitative social science research methodology and design. The unit will examine survey based research and working with primary data; including Sampling or selecting cases or subjects, Dealing with non-response and missing data; Random and systematic measurement error, how it should be mitigated through instrument design and corrected for during analysis; Inductive and deductive methods; Hypothesis testing, exploratory and inferential methods, and measuring causality; Population inference from cross-sectional and longitudinal sample surveys and inference from research using experimental designs; Inferential statistical tests for parametric and non-parametric data; Linear and non-linear forms of multivariate regression; Data reduction and grouping methods, such as factor and cluster analysis.