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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE2570 Research in the Environmental Social Sciences

30 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Lucie Middlemiss

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

This module is not approved as a discovery module


The objective of this module is to prepare students for a significant research activity such as their final year enterprise project or dissertation.

They will learn how to design and implement research in the social sciences, how to analyse the data they collect (whether quantitative or qualitative), to draw inferences, how to write a report on their experiment. They will also be guided on how to undertake a detailed literature review as part of a research design and topic identification stage of a research project. They will also be guided on their choice of their level 3 dissertation or enterprise project and will prepare a research proposal in anticipation of their third year.

All pieces of coursework must be attempted in order to pass the module. Attendance at the fieldtrip is compulsory in order to pass the module.


1. What is research?
2. Role of environmental social science research in society (including alumni talks)
3. Setting a research topic (identifying a problem, carrying out a literature review)
4. Research approaches (action, participatory, survey, case study)
5. Interdisciplinarity in the context of the environmental social sciences
6. Data collection (qualitative and quantitative research, including practical application of different research methods)
7. Data analysis (qualitative and quantitative research, including qualitative analysis and stats)
8. Building theory
9. Presenting your work

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours120.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

- 2 hrs reading, research or worksheet completion for each workshop: 88 hours
- Preparation of 2,000 word research project: 40 hours
- Preparation of second 2,000 word research project: 40 hours
- Preparation of 2,000 fieldtrip report: 20 hours
- Preparation of dissertation proposal: 20 hours
- Preparation of FORMATIVE research plan to conduct on fieldtrip: 16hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Student progress will be monitored via weekly workshop discussions and associated activities and also during formative presentations given during the fieldtrip.
- The S1 assessment will test student knowledge of different research approaches and theories and data collection and analysis.
- Assessments in semester 2 will build on those in S1 by testing students ability to apply these approaches and methods in a guided mini-dissertation.
- The fieldtrip will provide students with an opportunity for hands-on experience of applying these skills in the field.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayA1 - 2,000 word essay, due semester 125.00
EssayA2 - 2,000 word essay, due semester 225.00
Written WorkDissertation/Enterprise project plan17.00
Problem SheetWorksheets (quantative methods)0.00
Presentation2x fieldtrip presentations0.00
ReportField trip report (2,000 words), due semester 233.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

2 x 10 minute formative presentations will be given during the fieldtrip. These presentations will form the basis of the 2,000 word fieldtrip report (assessed). All pieces of coursework must be attempted in order to pass the module. Attendance at the fieldtrip is compulsory in order to pass the module. An alternative assessment will be set for students who are unable to attend the fieldtrip for reasons of disability. Completion of all the worksheets that form part of the quantitative methods teaching is essential in order to pass the module.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 25/07/2016


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