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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Research (EDU)

Postgraduate Course: Research Methods: Planning Research (REDU11044)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryStudents preparing to embark on undertaking their masters dissertation need to be prepared in both theoretical and practical aspects of research methodology and methods. Through this process they also gain a greater understanding of the substantive literature in their specific area of study. However, when it comes to conceptualising, planning, implementing and locating their own research within the relevant literature students require specific skills and advice.

Course description Indicative Content
- Stages in planning research and issues in research design, key terms and texts;
- Approaches to the identification of appropriate research questions;
- Research design - the spectrum to consider, sampling;
- Strategies and instruments for data collection - interviews, questionnaires, documentation, focus groups;
- Issues of validity and reliability and the evaluation of evidence.

Preparation for developing a research proposal for dissertation
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 the course students will have:
1. identified appropriate research questions and how they might be addressed by particular methodological approaches and data collection methods;
2. planned a programme of research, showing an appropriate level of critical awareness of issues relating to research reliability and validity, and ethical considerations;
3. articulated clearly the kinds of conclusions and recommendations they will be able to make given the research design choices they have made;
4. presented a proposal for a research project in poster form in accord with the relevant academic conventions.
Reading List
Alvesson, M. & Skoldberg, K. (2009) Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas in Qualitative Research, 2nd edition. London: Sage.
Bechhofer, F. & Paterson, L. (2000) Principles of Research Design in the Social Sciences. London: Routledge.
Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science, 4th edition. London: Open University Press.
Bernard, H. R. (2008) Social Research Methods, 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Berry, R., (2004) The Research Project: How to Write It, 5th edition. London: Routledge Falmer.
Blaxter L, Hughes, C. & Tight, M. (2006) How to Research, 3rd edition. London: Open University Press.
Burns, R. B. (2000) Introduction to Research Methods, 4th edition. London: Sage.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007) Research Methods in Education, 6th edition. London: Routledge.
Cottrell, S. (2005) Critical Thinking Skills. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Crotty, M. (1998) The Foundations of Social Research. London: Sage.
Denscombe, M (2003) The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects, 2nd edition. London: Open University Press.
Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2008) Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials, 3rd edition. London: Sage.
Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS, 3rd edition. London: Sage.
Fielding, J. & Gilbert, N. (2006) Understanding Social Statistics, 2nd edition. London: Sage.
Girden, E. R. (2001) Evaluating Research Articles from Start to Finish, 2nd edition. London: Sage.
Hammersley, M. (1992) Social Research: Philosophy, Politics & Practice. London: Sage.
Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. London: Sage.
Kumar, R. (2005) Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners, 2nd edition. London: Sage.
May, T. (2003) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, 3rd edition. London: Open University Press.
Neville, C. (2007) The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. Berkshire: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill.
Oliver, P.S. (2003) The Student's Guide to Research Ethics. London: Open University Press.
Potter, S. (2006) Doing Post-graduate Research, 2nd Edition. London: Open University/Sage.
Punch, K. (2005) Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, 2nd edition. London: Sage.
Reason, P. & Bradbury, H., eds. (2007) The SAGE Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice, 2nd edition. London: Sage.
Robson, C. (2002) Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner-Researchers, 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell.
Sim, S. & Van Loon, B. (2004) Introducing Critical Theory. Royston: Icon Books.
Silverman, D. (2006) Interpreting Qualitative Data, 3rd Edition. London: Sage.
Silverman, D. (2007) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Qualitative Research. London: Sage.
Thomas, G. (2009) How to Do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences. London: Sage.
Walliman, S. R. (2005) Your Research Project: A Step-By-Step Guide for The First-Time Researcher, 2nd edition. London: Sage.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Enrolment in Semester 1 instance is by arrangement with the Course Organiser.
KeywordsResearch dissertation
Course organiserDr Charlotte Kemp
Tel: (0131) 651 4878
Course secretaryMrs Susan Scott
Tel: (0131 6)51 6573
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