Philosophy of Social Science Research
The module considers fundamental philosophical debates about what counts as ‘knowledge’ across the social sciences. Teaching addresses (natural) science as a method of obtaining knowledge and the interpretative tradition in the social sciences. Students explore fundamental philosophical debates about what counts as ‘knowledge’ across the social sciences and apply these discussions to their own disciplines and field of study.
Research Design, Practice and Ethics
The module introduces students to social science research designs and ethical issues in research practice. Learning supports students to be able to make strategic choices when developing their own projects, and to assess the design and research ethics decision making in others’ published research work.
Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods
Concepts, methods and skills central to quantitative research, including data collection approaches and concept operationalization, are core throughout this module. Building on a grounding in ideas relating to probability sampling, sampling error and statistical inference, coverage of techniques extends from comparisons of means and simple cross-tabular analyses to a discussion of multivariate analysis approaches, focusing on linear and logistic regression.
Foundations in Qualitative Research
Qualitative research is examined across a range of topics, from different approaches and methods including ethnographic and observational research, discourse and conversation analysis, documentary and archival analysis, participatory research and the use of interviews. Ethics in qualitative research is specifically considered, as is the evaluation of qualitative research.
Researching Professional Practice
This module enables students to explore professional practice using different research approaches and considering the role of service users and professional practitioners as stakeholders of the research. Students are encouraged to draw on their own experiences of professional practice within social work and social care organisations.
Researching Social Policy (20 credits)
Module Lead: Jenny Phillimore
This module is concerned with the politics of social research, rather than research methods and methodology. It addresses issues such as: how are certain topics identified as subjects for research, how is research commissioned and funded, and what are the relationships between research and the policy process. It draws on real-life experiences of doing research and being researched to explore these issues.
Dissertation (60 credits)
On completion of the taught (120 credits), Masters students undertake a 12,000 word dissertation on a subject of their choice. Each student is allocated a supervisor, selected for their experience of both the subject matter and supervision.