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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5010M Research Methods

15 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Milena Buchs

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective


By the end of this module, students should be aware of what defines science as a knowledge production system as well as the existence of different research paradigms and strategies. They should understand relationships between theory, conceptualization, method, hypotheses or research questions, evidence and measurement in the context of social sciences, as well as issues related to objectivity, generalisability, reliability and utility of research.

After completion of this module, students should be familiar with appropriate social sciences methods (qualitative and quantitative) and have acquired the general research skills relevant to their dissertation projects. They should have the skills to use software packages for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. They should also have gained research skills contributing to their professional careers or further studies in higher education.

Skills outcomes
The module places considerable emphasis on:
- Understanding what characterizes social science as a way of producing knowledge;
- Understanding and getting familiar with the research process;
- Critically reviewing scientific literature to identify research gaps, formulate research questions and discuss new results;
- Understanding and getting familiar with quantitative and qualitative methods, their purpose, application and limitations in the context of social science research;
- Formulating and testing hypotheses;
- Applying knowledge and understanding to address sustainability challenges;
- Understanding issues around collecting qualitative and quantitative data
- Analysing data using appropriate techniques;
- Referencing work in an appropriate manner;
- Appreciating issues of robustness, reliability and uncertainty during the research process.
- Communicating research results appropriately in written, verbal and graphical form The module places moderate emphasis on:
- Solving numerical problems using computer based techniques;
- Using the internet critically as a source of information;
- Identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles;
- Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (e.g. working independently, time management and organisation skills);
- Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development;
- Developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.


1. What is Science?; main scientific paradigms; inductive/deductive reasoning
2. The research process; conducting a literature review
3. Introduction to quantitative research methods in social sciences
4. Use of descriptive statistics to understand and manage quantitative data
5. Basic use of inferential statistics to answer research questions
6. Introduction to qualitative research methods
7. Qualitative data collection techniques, including qualitative interviews, focus groups and documentary research.
8. Qualitative data analysis and reporting.
9. Mixed methods and ethics in social science research.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours125.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Review of pre-recorded lectures and material, readings, individual and group homework; assignments (125 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Peer-marked exercises; formative multiple choice-test; online discussion board

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam24 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Students who fail this Module may be offered a resit. The re-sit for this module will be an open book exam, covering the same content and module learning outcomes as the original exam (but a set of different questions). If the re-sit is granted as a new first attempt, the original examination mark will replaced by the re-sit examination mark, even if it is lower. If the re-sit is a second and final attempt, the re-sit exam mark will be capped at 50%. The resit exam for this module will be held in August 2022.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/03/2022


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