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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5010M Research Methods

15 creditsClass Size: 250

Module manager: Jennifer Hodbod

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This class uses a flipped classroom – readings and lectures must be reviewed independently before coming to the in-person seminars, which will be used for discussion and activities.


By the end of this module, students should be aware of what defines social 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 research designs (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods) and have acquired the common research skills relevant for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and to their dissertation projects. They should also have gained research skills contributing to their professional careers or further studies in higher education.

Learning outcomes
The module places considerable emphasis on:
• Understanding what characterizes social science as a way of producing knowledge;
• Applying the scientific research process;
• Critically reviewing scientific literature to identify research gaps, formulating research questions and discussing new results;
• Referencing work in an appropriate manner;
• Identifying the purpose and limitations of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods in the context of social science research and demonstrating which is appropriate for application in different contexts;
• Appraising issues around collecting qualitative and quantitative data;
• Analysing qualitative and quantitative data using appropriate techniques;
• Communicating research results appropriately in written, verbal and graphical form;
• Evaluating issues of robustness, reliability and uncertainty during the research process;
• Applying knowledge and skills related to research methods to address sustainability challenges.

Skills outcomes
The module places moderate emphasis on
1. Solving numerical problems using computer based techniques;
2. Using the internet critically as a source of information;
3. Identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles;
4. Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (e.g. working independently, time management and organisation skills);
5. Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development;
6. Developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.


1. The research process: main scientific paradigms, inductive/deductive reasoning, conducting a literature review.
2. Mixed methods and ethics in social science research.
3. Introduction to qualitative research methods in social sciences
4. Qualitative data collection techniques
5. Qualitative data analysis
6. Qualitative data reporting within mixed methods studies
7. Introduction to quantitative research methods in social sciences
8. Use of descriptive statistics to understand and manage quantitative data
9. Use of inferential statistics to answer research questions
10. Quantitative data analysis and reporting within mixed methods studies

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 homework (125 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Provide detail of opportunities for students to receive formative feedback. Please state the type, frequency and length of work done by which the progress of a student is monitored (e.g. 2 x 1000 word essays).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or DissertationIndividual research piece applying mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) (3,000 words)90.00
In-course MCQCompletion of a weekly open book multiple choice test on social research methods10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit will be a re-submission of the same research paper assignment, improved to pass quality (100%).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/04/2024 14:08:13


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