Research Skills and Literacy: Philosophy and Method in the Social Sciences

First year module

Lecturer: Dr Nicola Smith

This module will introduce you to some of the most important ideas, issues and skills that you will encounter during your time as a student. The course has been designed specifically to help you develop the skills you need to achieve your full potential and to get the most out of your studies, specifically with its focus on critical engagement with academic literature.

In the course of this module, you will be introduced to the concept and language of research and you will develop a range of abilities that are highly valued in academia and by other employers. These include the ability to engage in productive group work; to give and receive constructive feedback in a supportive manner; to identify problems and develop creative, practical and innovative solutions; to manage time effectively and to conduct independent research.

The module will also introduce you to some of the key theoretical and methodoligical debates in the Social Sciences and enable you to develop a sound and reflexive understanding of your own identity as a researcher.

Learning Outcomes 

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate reflexive awareness of yourself as a researcher in your discipline.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the ways in which different types of evidence are used to construct arguments in your discipline.
  • Effectively integrate theoretical and empirical material to construct your own arguments, both verbally and in writing.


  • Term One: 1 essay x 2,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (50%)