This is a foundation module on sociological research for postgraduate students. It introduces the relationship between contemporary theory and empirical inquiry, and emphasises the entire research process from identifying research questions to writing up research findings. It examines some key assumptions and ideological underpinnings of social research, and explores qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches and their uses in a variety of design contexts. It is intended to provide students with a critical understanding of the process and complexity of doing research, and facilitate the design of their own social research.
Aims and Objectives
The module aims to:
- Explore different theoretical and methodological approaches in social research;
- Provide students with an understanding of the complexities of designing a coherent social research project;
- Equip students with the skill to critically review the methodological strategies used by other social researchers;
- Equip students with the ability to formulate researchable questions and design a feasible and appropriate research strategy.
The specific topics covered include the conceptualisation of a research question, processes of data collection, approaches to data analysis, and strategies of interpretation. The course explores various research skills for each of these issues and presents them as integral parts of a coherent research design. Students will be encouraged to develop their own research ideas through the approaches discussed in the course. At the end of this course you will have acquired not only a critical and coherent perspective on empirical research but also a clearer strategy to pursue your own research agenda.
- Module Supervisor: Isabel Crowhurst