The schedule below is indicative of one year of full-time study. If you study over two years part-time, course content will be the same, but the taught elements will be split over the two years.
GRT-40023 Approaches to Research Design and Process (15 credits, Semester 1)
Further preparing you to conduct a major piece of research, you'll be introduced to the main issues surrounding research questions, research design and evidence gathering across a range of social science disciplines. You will explore the differences between various types of research design - for example, experimental, cross-sectional and longitudinal research - and the consequences of these designs for the development of different methodologies, including interviews and focus groups, questionnaires and ethnography.
GRT-40028: Researcher Skills (15 credits, Semester 1)
You will gain a solid introduction to the knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers, according to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). This internationally-respected guidance covers the wide-ranging knowledge, intellectual abilities, techniques and professional standards, including ethics, expected to do research, as well as the personal qualities, knowledge and skills to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research.
SOC-40014 Philosophy of the Social Sciences (15 credits, Semester 1)
You will study the philosophy of the social sciences, together with philosophical debates around different methodological approaches to social science research. This module features the work of a range of key thinkers, including Durkheim, Popper, Kuhn, Weber, Adorno, and Foucault, who have informed the ways in which researchers consider knowledge in the social sciences. We start with the enlightenment idea of the search for science and the nineteenth century beginnings of social science. Topics covered include: naturalism, the relationship between the individual and society, falsificationism, paradigm shifts, the interpretive tradition, critical theory, structuralism and post-structuralism. The overall intention is for students to be able to apply different philosophical positions to their own research interests.
ETH-40051 Ethics in Research (15 credits, Semester 1)
You'll develop a critical understanding of key ethical issues in research, across academic and professional disciplines in social science, humanities and health. The focus of the module is on ethical analysis of such issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, rather than on specific regulatory and governance processes.
GRT-40026: Using Theory in Social Science Research (15 credits, Semester 2
This module offers advanced instruction in a range of theoretical perspectives - for example, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology and post-humanism - within social science research. Providing you with the tools to confidently apply theory to your research, it critically unpacks the relationship between methodology and theory. You will consider the differences between grand theory and general theory and learn to select the most suitable for our research in order to build a critical account of the field of study.
GRT-40020 Quantitative Research and Data Analysis (15 credits, Semester 2)
The module provides a comprehensive introduction to the principles and practices of quantitative social science research. You’ll become familiar with the different ways in which statistical, mathematical, or numerical data is collected and evaluated, through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques. You’ll also learn to evaluate and appraise these methods to assess their suitability in relation to the question of causality, for example, or in addressing problems of operationalisation and theories of sampling. Practical work will include questionnaire design, data analysis and the writing of a quantitative research design. You’ll also gain hands-on experience of SPSS software, which is widely used in the analysis of quantitative data sets.
GRT-40021 Qualitative Research Methods (15 credits, Semester 2)
Through discussion of the principles and practices of qualitative social research, this module provides a solid overview of the wide range of qualitative methods used in social science research. You will examine how qualitative methodologies inform research design and learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different forms of investigation, such as in-depth interviews, focus groups, participant observation, or visual (artistic) research. You’ll be introduced to associated methods of data capture, including field notes, audio and/or video recordings, and transcripts, gaining practical experience of the same NVivo software used by qualitative researchers in the management and analysis of qualitative data.
GRT-40017: Dissertation (60 credits, Semester 1,2 & 3)
Representing the culmination of your studies, the dissertation is the final piece of assessment on the programme. This is your chance to apply the skills and knowledge gained throughout the course and show your enthusiasm for the specific social and cultural questions that interest you. It provides an exciting opportunity to work under the supervision of an expert in your chosen field of interest, demonstrating a level of knowledge and understanding far beyond what you have learned in class. You will design and conduct an independent social science research project, including some form of primary social research. You will then produce a 15,000-word dissertation to report your findings. One previous dissertation for example, Wild Ospreys: grit, grace and one's own headspace, considered how reflections on non-human wild animals can support mental wellbeing and reveal new understandings of psychological resilience.