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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Counselling Studies

Postgraduate Course: Advancing Ethical Research Practice (CNST11073)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines key ethical issues, themes and dilemmas in conducting both quantitative and qualitative research with human subjects.
Course description This course aims to instil ethical awareness and promote ethical competence in postgraduate students undertaking research. The course provides comprehensive instruction on ethical dimensions of each stage of the research process from design and ethical approval through to application of methods and analysis of data to presentation, representation, publication and dissemination. Students learn and evaluate the philosophical bases for ethical practice and the principles that inform core research ethics codes and frameworks. They identify and analyse key ethical issues relating to their proposed research projects, with a specific focus on potential ethical moments and dilemmas. They distinguish process ethics from procedural ethics.
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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify and critically assess the philosophical bases for ethical practice and the principles that inform core research ethics codes and frameworks and demonstrate sensitivity to a range of ethical issues within the course of research, including access to subjects, informed consent, confidentiality, protection from harm, use and publication of data.
  2. Conceptualise key ethical issues and tasks throughout the research process and critically evaluate ethical issues within their own research field.
  3. Understand ethical and political dimensions of the research process and identify and critically reflect on key ethical issues relating to their proposed research projects.
  4. Undertake a robust self-assessment for the purposes of research ethics approval in relation to their research project with a specific focus on potential ethical moments and dilemmas.
  5. Conceptualise and critically appraise research relationships, including the researcher-researched relationship, and responsibilities of researchers to research subjects, sponsors, supervisors and stakeholders.
Reading List
Gregory, I (2003) Ethics and Research, Continuum

Whiteman, N (2012) Undoing ethics: rethinking practice in online research, Springer

Loue, S and Pike, E C (2007) Case studies in ethics and HIV research, Springer

Pollock, K (2012) Procedure versus process: ethical paradigms and the conduct of qualitative research, BMC Medical Ethics 27(13)

Hammersley, M and Traianou, A (2012) Ethics in qualitative research: controversies and contexts, Sage
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students completing this course will have enhanced their:
- capacity to analyse complex situations and relationships.
- decision making skills especially in contexts of competing imperatives and priorities.
- awareness of their personal beliefs and values in relation to professional ethical conduct.
- ability to respond with autonomy and accountability in challenging situations.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Seamus Prior
Tel: (0131 6)51 6599
Course secretaryMs Leopoldine Barde
Tel: (0131 6)50 3890
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