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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

THEO5325M Religion and Society: Research Process and Methods

30 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Prof Emma Tomalin
Email: E.Tomalin@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

Religion and locality (THEO 5310)

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module we will look at various aspects of the research process and research methods of particular relevance to the study of religion, society and public life. It provides a useful background and valuable tools for anyone researching contemporary religion in a social context, or for historical studies involving oral or local history. Students taking the module will prepare a 6,000 word research report in which they apply what they have learnt about research process and selective methods in relation to a subject of their choice; they will also prepare a poster which they will present to the group. The skills acquired will be useful for preparing a dissertation or research thesis. The curriculum includes discussion of the nature of the research process (including data collection, analysis, writing up), the role and standpoint of the researcher, the impact of ethics, politics and gender issues, the relationship between theory and method, and a variety of methods including use of historical and official documents, participant observation, interviewing, oral history, questionnaires, and visual and material cultural methods.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should have a general knowledge of a variety of approaches and methods appropriate for the study of religion and society: e.g. sociological, anthropological, phenomenological, and geographical approaches; use of historical and offical documents, participant observation, interviewing and oral history, questionnaires etc.

You will have employed one or more of these in a short project of your own choice, and will be equipped to embark on a longer, independent but supervised project on an aspect or issue related to religion and society or religion and public life.

You will be aware of the nature of the research process, the role and standpoint of the researcher, the impact of ethical, political and gender issues, the relationship between theory and method, and the interdisciplinary and polymethodic nature of the study of religions.

Syllabus

The following subjects will be covered in lectures, seminars and private reading.

1. Religion and society: research opportunities;
2. The research process (social science and humanities perspectives); theory and method;
3. Methodological approaches and interdisciplinarity in the study of religions;
4. Qualitative and quantitative research methods, including the use and interpretation of historical, official, and Internet resources, interviews, participant observation, questionnaires, mapping, and material culture;
5. Objectivity, subjectivity and reflexivity; the politics and ethics of research;
6. The research process (analysis and the writing up of research).

Selective methods will be trialed by students during the module and discussed in seminars. Assessment of the module will require a demonstration of the use of one or more method in a project to be negotiated with the module leader and to be presented to the class.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar112.0022.00
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

10 hours = preparation per seminar
268 hours = preparation for assessments

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored in seminars (particularly where students present their projects). Drafts of work will be read.

Feedback will be given at the end on the module (on the research project) to assist students proceeding to a dissertation or research thesis.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Poster Presentation10 minutes with 5 minutes questions work in progress presentation with a poster20.00
ReportProject Report 6000 words80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit for presentations: submission of poster, powerpoint presentation and speaking notes Resit for report: resubmission

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/10/2021

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