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

Undergraduate Course: Understanding and Investigation: Methods for Health Research (SHSS10004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a compulsory course for students in the third year of the MA Health, Science and Society. It aims to develop students' understanding of knowledge production and enhance ability to engage critically with published research. It offers a solid grounding in research methods and practical skills that will support this development in year three while also preparing students for undertaking their honours dissertation in year four.
The course is taught through lectures and group work and has a focus on research related to the field of health. Students are also required to carry out self-directed learning.
Course description This course will offer year three students the opportunity to develop understanding of the nature of knowledge production, and a solid grounding in social science research methods. The focus will be on challenges and developments in the field of health research, and will explore issues of research design, ethical practice, concepts of rigour, choice of methods, and data analysis.

The course will develop practical research skills, and will include an orientation to learning while doing. Students will have the opportunity to engage with a variety of methods such as techniques involving surveys, interviews, and observation. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the process of research and its outcomes, including their position as the researcher.

The understanding and skills acquired will be relevant to honours dissertation projects, and to many potential career pathways.

The course will be taught through seminars and practical workshops.
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 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  11
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 20% Group Presentation
80% Research Proposal (3,000-3,500 words)
Feedback Students will be given tutor and peer feedback on the group presentation.

Feedback will also be provided on a plan of the research proposal.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand principles and approaches to social research, and have the ability to compare and evaluate different methodological approaches. Students will be introduced to a range of research methods employed in researching health.
  2. Compare and critically assess research findings, and make judgments on research quality and validity.
  3. Refine a research topic and design their own research project and methodology.
  4. Develop ethical awareness and the ability to prepare for ethical issues that may arise in conducting research.
  5. Develop a critical understanding of the role of the researcher within the research process.
Reading List
Balnaves, Mark and Peter Caputi (2001). Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods: An investigative approach. Sage Books

Blaxter, L. (2010). How to Research. (4th ed.) McGraw-Hill Education.

Flick, Uwe. (2011) Introducing Research Methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project. Sage Books.

Liamputtong, Pranee. (1999). Qualitative research methods: a health focus. Oxford University Press.

Loseke, Donileen. (2013) Methodological Thinking: Basic Principles of Social Research Design. Sage Books.

Saks, Mike and Judith Allsop (2013). Researching Health: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods. Sage Books

Silverman, David (2010). Doing Qualitative Research: a practical handbook. Sage Books.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Understand social research methods and their use in developing knowledge and practice
Development of key practical skills: information retrieval and critical synthesis, project planning, formulating a research proposal
Analytical and critical thinking
KeywordsResearch Design,Research Methods,Research Ethics,Rigour
Course organiserProf Heather Wilkinson
Tel: (0131 6)51 3925
Course secretaryMiss Morven Sutherland
Tel: (0131 6)51 3972
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