SOC-20046 - Research Methods
Coordinator: James Skinner
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This module aims to introduce you to both 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 seminars will help develop further the understanding of methods that you will gain through the lectures. Seminars will be more practically focused and enable you to try out some of the research methods that we covered. Some seminars will be based around key readings and others will include discussions of ethical issues, learning about literature reviewing, and some time will be spent on data analysis.
This module will help you to become a more critical reader of social research and you will also learn about how to develop research proposals.

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

10 lecture contact hours
10 workshop contact hours
72 hours tutorial preparation
58 hours assessment preparation
150 hours

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.