SOC-20046 - Research Methods
Coordinator: Shuang Qiu Room: CBA1.032
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module aims to introduce you to the principles of developing research strategies and to the strengths and weaknesses of different data collection methods used within sociology. The lectures will be concerned with examining the criteria that can be used to judge the advantages of different research approaches, as well as introducing you to the assumptions that underpin different modes of data collection. There will also be a focus on the ethics of social research.
The workshops will help develop further the understanding gained through the lectures. They will be more practically focused. Workshops will entail you demonstrating skills in the use of bibliographic data bases, evaluating existing research and exploring alternative methodologies for collecting relevant data within the constraints of specified research resources.
The module will consist of lectures and workshops. The workshops will based and concerned with applying the concerns of the lectures to specific research problems, the discussion of specific methodological issues or the development of research skills.

To enable students to:
appreciate the range of different research methods used in sociology and assess their strengths and weaknesses
know how to formulate a research question, building on existing sociological literature and research
understand criteria for evaluating the adequacy of different data for sociological explanation
understand the construction of research strategies and be able to identify the different elements of the process
appreciate ethical guidelines in the conduct of research

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different data collection procedures in sociology for different research problems: 1
review major ethical dilemmas of social research and have knowledge of relevant professional codes of ethics: 1
explain the relationship between empirical data and theory production and testing within sociology: 1
evaluate the research strategies used by sociologists:

Study hours

Active learning hours include 22 contact hours (11 lectures and 11 seminars) and 44 asynchronous learning hours (e.g., key readings, note-taking, seminar preparation, video content, other online material)
Independent study hours: 84 hours assessment preparation (includes engaging with additional readings)

School Rules

Students taking this module are barred from also taking CRI-20020

Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 100%
A 2500 word research proposal
In this assignment you will be required to select an area of sociological research, formulate a research question and design a research project to explore this question. Students will formulate a research question, review relevant literature on the chosen topic, outline and evaluate an empirical research method, and consider the ethical implications of the proposed project. You will draw on information provided in the lectures, discussions from the seminars, your wider reading, and literature searches.