The core modules of the course are:
- Introduction to Social Research (20 credits)
This module aims to provide a general introduction to studying and research methods and prepares you for your disseration, emphasising key skills such as searching literature, finding datasets and presenting and criticising arguments. It also covers ethnics of research, the role of theory and philosophical bases for understanding the social world.
- Research Design (20 credits)
This module links the introductory module and data collection module through consideration of research, design, questions, warranting practices and sampling methods. All the elements of research design are linked into an over-arching theme of the full cycle of research activity.
- Social Research Methods I (20 credits)
This module introduces the principles and practices of data collection and explores rationales of the various methods. It will focus on the different stages of data collection, including various methods used to gather textual and numerical data.
- Social Research Methods II (20 credits)
This module introduces students to a range of aproaches for analysing and handling data. It will include covering statistical methods for quantitative data and methodological approaches for qualitative data. It emphasises that the method of analysis is not determined by the method of collection.
- 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)
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.
- Researching Professional Practice (20 credits)
Dissertation (60 credits)
On completion of the taught (120 credits), Masters students undertake a 10,000 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.
The modules on Social Research Methods I and Social Research Methods II cover a wide range of approaches, including the 'qualitative' and 'quantitative' traditions, plus mixed methods.
For courses marked * you may instead select various intensive short courses on research methods from a wide range, including narrative analysis, advanced qualitative analysis, logistic regression, factor analysis and others.