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Introduction to Research Methods - SPY00066M

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Mathilde Maitrot
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

The main objectives of this module are to enable you to:

  • Explore the theoretical underpinnings of social research
  • Develop an understanding of the process and outputs of a literature review
  • Recognise the key characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Examine methods of conducting and analysing quantitative and qualitative research
  • Understand what is involved in writing up and presenting research findings in an appropriate manner
  • Plan a coherent research project from start to finish

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module you should:

  • Be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of a range of social research methods.
  • Be familiar with and be able to critically assess some of the key characteristics of both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Be able to understand the process of and conduct a literature review.
  • Have a basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
  • Be familiar with the basic process of the manipulation and interpretation of statistical data using SPSS.
  • Be able to present research findings in a clear and coherent manner.
  • Be able to plan a research project from start to finish.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

The lead marker (the module tutor) will include comments about the content, structure, and evidence used etc. to provide you with constructive information that will enable you to improve on future work. The feedback a tutor can offer can be invaluable to your studies, so it is important you read this carefully

We aim to return your marked work to you within one month of its submission.

Feedback will be given in three ways:

(1) Comments within the actual text will highlight specific points and examples that the marker wants to draw to your attention.

(2) The marking criteria will be highlighted to show how your assignment has been rated against those criteria. This will enable you to calibrate your performance against a consistent scale, and therefore to aim to improve in specific areas.

(3) Finally the marker will provide a narrative summary in which the main points will be set out and any major areas for improvement highlighted.

Indicative reading

BOEIJE, H.R. (2009) Analysis in Qualitative Research , Sage, London

BRYMAN, A. (2012) Research Methods, 4th Edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press

DE VAUS, D., A. (2013) Surveys in Social Research (6th edition), London, Routledge

HART, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review, London, Sage

MACLEOD, J., and THOMSON, R. (2009) Researching Social Change, London, Sage

SILVERMAN, D. (2011) Interpreting Qualitative Data, London, Sage

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.