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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 to a broader group, including all research students and staff in the Subject Group.
Course description Advanced Issues in Social Work Research is a SCQF Level 11 Postgraduate course. The course 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). 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.

The course covers a range of topics, typically including: being a social work research student; discourse analysis; ethnography; action research; quantitative methods; ethics; researching sensitive topics; co-production; writing for publication; and building impact into your research. There is a work-in-progress meeting each semester, where staff and research students meet to discuss their developing work. For the final session students are required to give an oral presentation of their proposed research.

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 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
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
Some relevant literature
Atkinson M (2005). Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know About Making Speeches and Presentations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Booth, A., Papaioannou, D. and Sutton, A. (2012) Systematic approaches to a successful literature review, London: Sage.
Cryer P (2006). The research student┐s guide to success (3rd ed.). Buckingham: Open University Press.
Dunleavy P (2003). Authoring a PhD thesis. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
McCarthy P and Hatcher C (2002). Presentations Skills: The Essential Guide for Students. London: Sage.
Murray, R. (2007) How to Write a Thesis. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Phillips EM and Pugh DS (2010). How to get a PhD (5th edn.). Buckingham: Open University Press,
Punch KF (2006). Developing effective research proposals (2nd edn.). London: Sage.
Robson, C. (2011) Real World Research, 3rd edition, Chichester: Wiley.
Ridley, D. (2012) The literature review. A step-by-step guide for students (2nd ed.). London: Sage.
Rugg G and Petre M (2010). The unwritten rules of PhD research (2nd edn).
Buckingham: Open University Press.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Steve Kirkwood
Tel: (0131 6)50 6646
Course secretaryMs Aikaterini Charvala
Tel: (0131 6)50 4296
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