THE PRACTICE OF RESEARCH - 2018/9

Module code: SOCM059

Module Overview

This module is designed to develop students’ research skills through the design and conduct of a small-scale research project. The practical experience on the project is supported by a series of five group workshops, where students will have the opportunity to discuss the progress of their research project with peers and academic staff. Students will not only gain experience in the planning, and execution of a small scale piece of social research, but are also given the opportunity to develop their presentation skills through the reporting of the research and findings. Emphasis will be given to communicating the main research findings in a clear and accessible manner to a non-academic audience, with the final report summary written for a policy audience.

Students will complete an independent research project, from design of the study through to dissemination of the results in a presentation. Student work will be supported by bi-weekly small group discussions throughout the semester.

Module provider

Sociology

Module Leader

ELSENBROICH CJ Dr (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: X210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

This module is only available to second year Part-Time students completing their degree in the 2018 academic year.

Module content

Indicative content includes:


Research questions and Research design
Ethics
Writing research proposals
Principles of research management
Project Reporting

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Research management diary (1,000 words) 30
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Research summary (1,500 words) 40
Oral exam or presentation Individual presentation 30

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their methodological, practical and professional skills through the design, conduct and reporting of a small-scale research project. The presentation of the results of that project is supported by a written report targeted at a non-academic audience. This is designed to give students experience of communicating their results in a more accessible manner for policy and practice. Students will also produce a reflexive account of their research, highlighting some of the key challenges in the research process and how they were overcome.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


A research management diary (30%)
A presentation reporting on the key findings from the project (30%)
A short research summary written in non-technical language for communication to a lay audience (40%)


Formative assessment and feedback


Verbal discussion with academic tutors and peers during the four workshops
Responses to verbal or email questions

Module aims

  • • Discuss the logic and overall conduct of social science research
  • • Discuss methodological issues in research design such as sampling, bias, reliability, validity and ethics in social science research
  • • Communicate the skills and techniques involved in the design, execution and reporting of an original social science research project
  • • Discuss issues in the professional contexts of social research conduct
  • • Address the skills and techniques required in the presentation of social science research results to non-academic audience

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the practices and procedures involved in initiating and managing a research project
002 Communicate a comprehensive understanding of the principles underlying the research design process
003 Communicate their experience of working on an original research project in a self-directed environment
004 Develop technical and practical social research skills in a fieldwork setting
005 Demonstrate an understanding of the practical and procedural aspects of different forms of research communication, including research reports, peer reviewed publications, and presentations

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 10

Independent Study Hours: 140

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Give students an understanding of the whole research process, from designing a study and collecting data, through to disseminating the findings in an oral presentation. The learning strategy is designed to a) provide both knowledge-based and practical learning towards the conduct of a small-scale research project, b) provide informal tutorial support throughout the conduct of that project including discussion of strategies, dilemmas and solutions, and c) provide a forum for the discussion of the methodological issues involved in the design, conduct and reporting of research. This research module is one in a suite of modules across the programme deigned to give students knowledge-based and practical learning in research methods skills more widely, towards research professionalisation.

The learning and teaching methods include:


1 hour introductory workshop discussing the goals of the project
2 hour supported research group meetings x 4 weeks
Surreylearn resources and discussion
Presentation of research findings

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for THE PRACTICE OF RESEARCH : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/socm059

Other information

N/A

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Social Research Methods MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.