The Practice of Fieldwork - POL00016M

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Rebecca Engel
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module addresses the political, ethical, logistical and methodological challenges of conducting fieldwork related to human rights, peacebuilding, and development in challenging contexts. Students will gain the awareness and skills to conduct fieldwork in a safe and ethical manner, both individually and in groups. The module will also examine different methodological approaches to research, both qualitative (interviews and focus groups) and quantitative (surveys), and how to write up research for different audiences. Specific attention will be paid to ethical practices in engagement with vulnerable individuals and communities.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

At the end of the module, students should:

  • Be able to show a critical understanding of the political, ethical, logistical and methodological challenges of conducting research in complex contexts
  • Be able to design appropriate research related to human rights, peacebuilding, and development
  • Be able to explain the particular importance of ethical practices when engaging with vulnerable individuals communities

Academic and graduate skills

At the end of the module, students should:

  • Be able to use a number of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies ethically
  • Be able to engage in reflective practice and exercise reflexivity
  • Be able to think critically about complex subjects
  • Be able to communicate effectively in both verbal and written forms
  • Be able to present complex concepts and topics confidently
  • Be able to engage in effective secondary research

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 4000 Words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 4000 Words
N/A 100

Module feedback

We aim to provide students with feedback on their summative assessment within 20 days of submission.

Indicative reading

Barakat et al., 'The composite approach: research design in the context of war and armed conflict', Third World Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 5, 2002

Cooper et al., Challenging the Qualitative-Quantitative Divide (London, Bloomsbury, 2012)

Vanderstaay, S., 'One Hundred Dollars and a Dead Man - Ethical Decision Making in Ethnographic Fieldwork', Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 34, No. 4, 2005



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.