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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Advanced Issues in Social Work Research (PGSP11089)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
Summary(1) A series of fortnightly 2-hour seminars (Approaches to Social Work Research) which run throughout the year. All MSc by Research and probationary PhD students are expected to attend and to make presentations on their research project (at least one in each semester), focusing on the professional and theoretical context for their work. Social work staff members are responsible for input on the topics noted below.
(2) Students are expected to attend subject group 'research-in-progress' meetings which are held regularly across the academic year. This is a forum for staff and students to explore and discuss ongoing research, review papers and discuss general research issues as a joint staff-student group.
(3) In the period immediately before the summer vacation, as part of their formal assessment for upgrading to PhD status, students present dissertation/proposal work in progress to a broader group (Research in Progress), including all research students and staff in the Subject Group.
Course description Advanced Issues in Social Work Research is a compulsory course for MSc/Diploma by Research (Social Work) students, first year PhD students and students in the training year of the PhD (1+3 model). On-course doctoral students in Social Work are expected to attend the research-in-progress meetings and are invited to all other relevant sessions. All staff in Social Work are invited to attend.

The course provides an opportunity to build a community of social work researchers and support learning from each other's knowledge and experience. The course aims to encourage engagement with methodological and theoretical debates in social work and social science research. Transferable skills are enhanced through presentations of on-going work from researchers and staff.

Outline Content

Introduction: Defining social work research? In this session we will consider key issues and debates on the distinctive features of social work research.

A range of topics relevant to social work research is considered in the following sessions and will normally include:

Ethics and consent in social work research
Co-researching with service users: incorporating service user perspectives
Action Research in social work
Using ethnography in social work research.
Narrative Methods in Social Work Research.
Longitudinal Perspectives in Social Work Research: exploring the potential of administrative data.
Writing for publication in social work.
Building impact into your research.

At the end of the first semester there is a work-in-progress session providing an opportunity for students to present and discuss their developing work.

Final session(s) - at the end of the course students are required to give an oral presentation of their proposed research.

Students are expected to attend regular staff/student research-in-progress meetings, normally arranged five times in the academic year.

The course is taught through seminars and presentations. You will be expected to undertake advance reading before each session to enable you to engage with relevant methodological and theoretical debates. There will be opportunities to build your skills in presenting and discussing your work. The course is primarily for postgraduate research students in social work but specific sessions may be open to other cognate disciplines.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  10
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) "Seems like 100% practical
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 100 %
Feedback Presentations are not formally marked but fellow postgraduate research students and academic staff will provide verbal feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Display practical familiarity with a range of research methodologies relevant to social work research
  2. Display a capacity to locate research issues and processes within a political, ethical and professional context
  3. Demonstrate an appreciation of the centrality of service user perspectives and participation within the construction, implementation and dissemination of research
  4. Display advanced familiarity with subject specific literature (including historical aspects, social trends, political context, professional practice and policy issues) and relevant organisational, inter-agency/disciplinary perspectives and cross-national comparisons
  5. Be in command of relevant practical and ethical requirements such as choice of research sites; ethical committees; informed consent; gaining access permission and developing agreed mechanisms for on-going consent and sharing work in progress
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 3 hour(s) per week for 10 week(s).
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Janice Mcghee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3910
Course secretaryMs Agata Paluba
Tel: (0131 6)51 5070
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