GRT-40023 - Approaches to Research Design and Process
Lecture Time:
Level: Level 7
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

'Approaches to Research Design and Process' introduces students to the principles of social science research design, methodology and evidence gathering. Students will start by thinking about the concepts of causation and interpretation in social science research. They will discuss the differences between types of research design and the consequences of these designs for the development of a methodology. The types of research design to be considered include: experimental design; cross-sectional design; longitudinal design; case-study design; mixed methods design; comparative design. The module will then explore different strategies for the gathering of evidence in the social sciences. Students will be invited to bring these components together in the development of a research proposal on a self-identified project, and they will be encouraged to make this relevant to their subject-specific interests.

The module aims to deliver a comprehensive advanced introduction to approaches to research design, to the main issues surrounding research design, and to different strategies for evidence gathering across a range of social science disciplines.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Identify a suitable research topic and research question(s) for a small-scale but advanced proposed research project.: 1
Evaluate a range of research designs used in advanced social science research and select the research design(s) most appropriate to the chosen proposed project.: 1
Evaluate a range of methods of evidence gathering used in advanced research in the social sciences and their philosophical underpinnings, and identify which method(s) is/are most appropriate to the chosen proposed project.: 1
Critically evaluate the appropriateness and viability of the chosen research design(s) and evidence gathering strategy/ies, including any ethical considerations.: 1
Communicate appropriately through the use of higher level writing skills, with appropriate use of academic referencing.: 1

Study hours

15 hours of workshops, to include lectures, seminars, discussion and small group work.
30 hours of structured on offline activity to include engagement with online resources, e.g., key readings, self-assessment quizzes, podcasts, and video content.
40 hours of class preparation time.
65 hours of assessment preparation time.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment