If you wish to develop the skills and understanding to carry out different types of social research, this might be the course for you. Social research involves enquiry which focuses primarily on human behaviour at individual, group or social level. The approach is inter and multi-disciplinary, with psychology and sociology the main base disciplines. We also cover methods and techniques traditionally associated with other social science disciplines. We concentrate on real life concerns and on field, rather than laboratory, studies. We give specific attention to the issues and sensitivities in carrying out evaluation research.
This course is suitable for individuals who have worked in private or public sector organisations whose work requires them to carry out research or evaluative studies, but who have insufficient experience of research to do so to a professional standard. It is also designed to provide training in general research methods for those wishing to undertake a research degree to MPhil or PhD.
The course is modular.
Compulsory modules for all awards:
-Social Research Methods This module provides a core for the pathway by developing your understanding of the whole research/enquiry process, including how to design, carry out and write up social research.
-Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis This module critically examines the appropriate use of techniques of data analysis from qualitative and quantitative traditions. It is intended to enhance and refresh awareness of data analytic strategies and develop practical skills using appropriate computer packages. Compulsory modules for those seeking MSc:
-Philosophy of Social Research and Research Design This module covers general philosophical and methodological issues in the social sciences and introduces a range of strategies and techniques for designing research.
-Evaluation, Policy and Practice This module covers the relationship between evaluation and research, and a range of models and approaches to the evaluation of programmes, services, innovations, interventions, etc. There is a particular emphasis on the difficulties and sensitivities of carrying out evaluative research.
Dissertation Up to 20,000 words describing a project you have undertaken on a social science topic which involves empirical methods of data collection and analysis. The approach adopted can be qualitative, quantitative or a combination of both.
There are up to two options for the PgCert and up to five for the PgDip for students not progressing to the MSc. MSc students study three options.
A range of option modules is available covering different aspects of research. Most are largely resource
based with substantial use of exercises and all are primarily focused on skill development.
-Statistical Analysis of Research Data
-Qualitative Analysis of Data