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

First year module

Lecturer: Dr Nicola Smith

This module is designed to help students to develop the key research, writing, presentation and other academic skills needed to progress in an undergraduate degree in the social sciences (term 1); and to equip students with a solid foundation in understanding and applying the major theories and methods of the social sciences (term 2). 

The module primarily aims to complement other social science modules at all stages of the undergraduate level and to provide the basic skills and knowledge required to undertake the undergraduate dissertation, but it also offers an important set of practical, analytical and critical skills that can be successfully deployed in the workplace.

Learning Outcomes 

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

  • Demonstrate reflexive awareness of yourself as a researcher in your discipline;
  • Engage critically with academic literature relevant to your discipline;
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the ways in which different types of evidence are used to construct arguments in your discipline; and
  • 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%)