This programme provides an understanding of both the uses and limitations of social research in public policy and in professional practice, and includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches. You will learn how to carry out social and sociological research so that you are fully equipped to conduct and/or evaluate social research as a future researcher, or commissioner and assessor of social research for public and private agencies. The course will also provide you with a strong theoretical and practical introduction to the world of social and sociological research.
* Quantitative Methods in Social and Cultural Research
Main topics of study: design issues, correlational studies, hypothesis testing and inferential statistics; the design, validation and analysis of questionnaires; multivariate statistical techniques; analysis and critique of methodology in contemporary research.
* Qualitative Methods in Social and Cultural Research
Main topics of study: developing research questions; research philosophies (positivism, phenomenology, reflexivity, feminist research); ethnography; interviews; focus groups; surveys and sampling; quantitative and qualitative data analysis; politics and ethics of research.
* Graduate Research Skills and Professional Development
Main topics of study: reviewing research aims and objectives; choosing research methods; study design, sampling, and analytical issues in the use of such methods; appropriate resources for such studies; using information technologies; managing a research project, presenting research information.
* Language and Media
Main topics of study: methodological approaches to the analysis of media discourse; audiences and the communicative ethos of broadcast talk; mediatised political discourse - claptrap, answering and avoiding the question in news interviews, debates and the management of applause; media language and power; audience participation and the 'new public sphere'; authenticity, controversy, spoofs and reality broadcasting.
* Culture, Space and Power
Main topics of study: theories and key concepts for understanding communicative and cultural transformations in relation to power, flows, mobilities, networks, power and globalization; theorising different approaches to globalization within specific case studies; media globalization and the formation and movement of cultural identities; developments in global capitalism and the circulation of cultural differences; the transformation of city spaces; the analysis of the mobility of people, goods, ideas and concepts and its impact on daily life; the development of a 'mobile sociology'.
* Theories of Globalisation
Main topics of study: political realism - from Weber to Kissinger; liberalism - from Smith to the Washington Consensus; Marxism – from Marx to 'Empire'; world systems analysis; postmodernism; towards a global communication industry - a world wired up; culture and commodification – tourism, football, pornography and intellectual property rights; global security and the war on terror - the security/development discourse; global moral consciousness - the media and public opinion in global political culture - failed states, genocide and democratisation – building a global political culture?; the anti-globalization movement and civil society; global cities in the world system; cinema, war and representing the global.
* Media Audiences
* The Information Society
Main topics of study: the relationships between current transformations in the areas of new media communications and global governance; the interplay between new media, the public sphere, and processes of globalisation; the work of key information society and communications theorists such as Castells; the work of contemporary cultural and social theorists of global capitalism such as Hardt and Negri, Beck, Jessop and Urry.