METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES IN RESEARCH DESIGN - 2021/2
Module code: SOCM061
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/course-changes. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional specific information relating to your chosen programme.
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This module aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the role and importance of conceptual and methodological issues in research design. In particular, we will consider some of the philosophical concepts and assumptions that underpin the practice of research, and some aspects of the relationship between theoretical frameworks and different methodological approaches to empirical research.
We will pay particular attention to the theoretical underpinnings of different approaches to research methods including, positivism, empiricism, realism and interpretavism and debates over the relations between structure and agency, knowledge and research technique.
The primary purpose of Methodological Issues in Research Design is to allow students to make important and informed choices with respect to their research. We will explore the research process from different points of view and students will come out of the course with both a better understanding of some of the choices open to them as researchers and with an informed perspective from which to make those choices.
EVERGETI Venetia (Sociology)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 7
JACs code: X210
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes:
- the purpose and nature of social research
- structure and agency
- research practice based on positivist research
- the value of empirical research
- understanding and explanation (interpretativism)
- individualism vs. holism
- conceptualising and analysing conversation
- mixed methods
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Oral exam or presentation||Oral presentation of research proposal||30|
|Coursework||Final Essay (3,000 words)||70|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate precise knowledge of some of the fundamental issues and debates in the philosophy of social science and a capacity to grasp the relative merits and uses of some of the key methodological and theoretical perspectives of social science that are covered in the module.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
- An oral presentation of students’ chosen research project
- An end of term essay on selected topics covered in the module
Individual written feedback will be provided for both units of assessment using the student feedback form. Generic feedback will also be given in the form of general comments discussed in class and uploaded on SurreyLearn. In addition, individual verbal feedback will be given in one-to-one sessions. The feedback will indicate what was done well and what you need to do to improve in the future. It will relate both to understanding of module topics, and more general writing and communication skills. Where possible, feedback on the oral presentation will be in relation to the dissertation students are planning to submit at the end of their degree and the suitability of their chosen theory/methods.
- • To introduce students to a number of key methodological issues and positions and some of the key pilosophies within social science
- • To develop their capacity to recognise and engage with methodological issues•
- • To develop their confidence and competence at evaluating methodological arguments and arriving at an independent, reasoned position in relation to them
- • To further enhance you capacities as social researchers
- • Provide students with a critical understanding of the role and importance of conceptual and theoretical issues in social research
|001||Reflect critically and creatively on social research and its place in society|
|002||Design and practice social research with the knowledge of fundamental issues underpinning different theories and methodologies|
|003||Develop an understanding of some of the fundamental issues in the philosophy of social science|
|004||Have some insight into the relationship between theoretical frameworks and forms of analysis|
|005||Be able to carry out their own research choosing the appropriate tools from a variety of methodological techniques|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 130
Lecture Hours: 10
Seminar Hours: 10
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Enable students to explore important research questions using a variety of methodological tools, be able to design and undertake research and data analysis, and critically evaluate the appropriateness of different methods for different research areas and social contexts. This will be achieved through a combination of lectures and seminar discussions.
The learning and teaching methods include:
- Ten weekly sessions of two hours. Most weeks will comprise a mixture of lectures and discussions. The sessions will involve interactive in-class activities and group discussions. The format of these might change from week to week, depending on the topics covered.
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 for METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES IN RESEARCH DESIGN : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/socm061
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 2021/2 academic year.